A Day in the Life of Asia Nelson, A Legacy Middle School Math Tutor

 

FullSizeRender (2)5:50am  I am definitely not a morning person so my mornings are a usually more chaotic than other tutors’ but I usually set my alarm to go off at this time and snooze until 6:15.

6:15am  I eventually force myself out of bed and start my morning routine of getting dressed for work.

7:02am  By this time, I am usually dressed and headed downstairs to catch the shuttle to work. I am a tutor at Great Oaks Legacy Charter school and unlike the other campuses, my school is not within walking distance. We are provided a shuttle every morning that arrives at 7:05 am to take us to work and pick us up again around 4:45 pm. Another 

7:15- 8:15 I arrive at school and start preparing myself for the work day. Within this hour, I usually eat breakfast and gather all the materials (such as packets or supplemental worksheets) needed for tutorial. I am also the 6th grade math TA so I usually check in with Ms. Marion, the math teacher, and make any last minute changes to the packet if needed. On Mondays, my morning prep time is cut short for Unity Circle. Unity Circle is every Monday at 7:45 for Upper Academy (grades 5-7). Announcements are usually made within this time frame as well as a brief current event lesson for the students. This usually lasts until 8:15.

8:15 – 9:10 This is where the real fun begins, tutorials. Located in Cafe B, I have my first 6th grade math tutorial. The classes at Legacy are named after colleges and universities so my first group of scholars are called Florida- short for the University of Florida.

9:15- 10:10  Welcome to back to back tutorials with 5 minute breaks in between. My next group of 6th grade students are from Brown (Brown University).

10:15- 11:00  Right before lunch, I have my first group and only group 7th graders from Grambling (Grambling State University). This tutorial group is consist of 3 energetic boys who often find it hard to concentrate. I usually get creative and come up with different techniques and activities to keep them focused.

11:00 – 11:30 It’s finally lunch time. I usually eat lunch downstairs with my coworkers. Being at Legacy and having such a small group of tutors (8) allowed us to become very close with one another. Although this is our 30 minutes of peace, a few students always manage to come join us for lunch.

11:30- 12:25  This is where my schedule gets a little tricky.

Tuesdays & Thursdays: On these days, I tutor SHU (Seton Hall University). This is Legacy self- contained class for 6th and 7th grade scholars. We typically review recent material learned on Tuesday and Thursday tutorials consist of the math lesson for that week.

Mondays & Wednesdays: This is usually my prep period. As I mentioned before, I am the TA for 6th grade math. My responsibilities include creating tutorial packets, making student copies, as well as in class support. I select this time to make tutorial packets for the following week 6th grade tutorials.

12:25- 12:30 Time for my final tutorial for the day but before I begin, I have to transition NJCU (New Jersey City University) scholars down to tutorial.

12:30 – 1:20  NJCU is my last 6th grade tutorial for the day. This tutorial is also the quickest tutorial as well. The lower academy (Pre-k thru 4th) has lunch right before this tutorial and sometimes it takes awhile to clean up after them.

1:25 – 2:20  During this time period, I assist Ms. Marion with in-class support. What this usually looks like for me is sitting in between scholars who find it difficult to concentrate and keep them focused during the lesson. After the lesson, I walk around the classroom and provide extra assistance to the students who need it during independent practice.

2:20 – 3:15  This is another one of my prep periods and varies from day to day. On Wednesday, I have my weekly meetings with Ms. Marion to discuss what the packets for the following week will look like as well as any changes to the unit map. On any other day, I’m usually assisting her with other tasks or working on tutorial packets.

3:15 – 3:30 I usually give myself a 15 minute break before starting my after school duties.

3:30 – 4:30 After School Duties

Monday – Wednesday: Homework help for 6th grade Scholars

Thursday & Friday: Dismissal duty which consist of monitoring upper academy and letting them know once their parent have arrived.

4:45 – 5:00  I’m finally on the shuttle headed home.

5:00 – 6:30  I use as my personal time to either watch Netflix, exercise, or hang out with fellow co-workers.

6:30 – 8:00  I am cooking dinner and getting ready for the night.

9:00 – 10:25  I try not to carry any work home, but if my workload is heavy for that week, I map out this time frame to due so. It usually consists of deliverables such as planning packets, trimester letters, etc.

10:30  Lights out, it’s bedtime.

This blog post describes my Monday- Thursday routines. Friday is different. It usually consist of planning and prepping for next week as well as school supportive duties. We do not have tutorials on Fridays.

 

Asia is from Florida and attended Clark Atlanta University to earn her Bachelor’s in Social Work and a minor in Criminal Justice. Her plans moving forward as a Tutor Corps VI Alumna are to attend grad school at Florida State University (MSW program) this upcoming fall and eventually start a professional career as a forensic social worker. Ultimately, I would like to open up a nonprofit organization for at risk youth helping them in their preparation for college and becoming self-sufficient.

 

A Day in the Life of Kelly Hustak, a Legacy Middle School Math Tutor

Tutorial

6:00 – My alarm goes off, and I usually get up right away in order to use the bathroom first. Things can get a little crowded when you’re sharing a bathroom with other people, but we make it work!

6:00-6:30 – I get ready for the day… I usually take way too much time picking out an outfit (which I always say I’m going to set out the night before and then never actually do).

6:30-6:55 – I head to the kitchen. Breakfast is a really important part of my day, and I usually make eggs or a bagel to hold me over until lunch time. I relax for a few minutes while eating, check social media, catch up on the news. Afterwards, I pack my lunch and some snacks to take with me for the day.

7:00 – I catch the school bus, arranged just for the Legacy tutors, outside of Teacher’s Village (TV). The Legacy Middle School is about a 10-minute drive from TV and much too far to walk. Some tutors with cars also drive to the school, but it is not required.

7:15-8:15 – I arrive at school. We have a small closet to keep our belongings in during the day, and I put my lunch in the fridge in the staff workroom. Tutorial for me does not begin until 8:15 and then the rest of my day is very busy, so I take this time to relax and mentally prepare. I grab packets for my students, printed by the TA’s , and take them with me for the day. Sometimes I have a quick meeting with my coach or my corps manager if there’s anything going on that needs to be addressed.

8:15-9:07 – My first 6th grade math tutorial for the day. In this tutorial, I have two students with Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, which means that they have special learning accommodations. This makes my group challenging to work with, but exciting. Sometimes, if necessary, I modify my plans to meet their needs and we spend time going over what we learned the day before.

9:10-10:02 – My second 6th grade math tutorial begins. I only have one student and we have a great relationship. I really enjoy working with her and she usually is on-task except for when we briefly chat about whatever she has going on in her life.

10:05-10:57 – My third tutorial begins, this time 7th grade math. During each tutorial, we have a 5 minute silent and independent Do Now at the beginning and a 5 minute silent Exit Ticket at the end to evaluate what the students learned during our time together. My three students in this tutorial really challenge me during those silent times, as well as with staying on-task during tutorial. By the time it’s over, I’m usually feeling pretty exhausted and ready to take a minute for myself.

11:00-11:30 – Lunch! It seems a little early but I’m usually starving by this point. I eat in the teacher workroom with some of the teachers at the school. I used to want to eat lunch with the students in the cafeteria, but now I find that I really enjoy the alone time just to relax because it’s really the only break I have in my day.

11:30-12:25 – I begin my fourth math tutorial for the day with a group of 7th graders. They are all very intelligent and it is often the only tutorial of mine in which we finish the packet. I try to push them as much as I can by asking them challenging questions to supplement the packet.

12:30-1:17 – My fifth tutorial! A group of three 6th graders and by far my most rambunctious group. They are filled with energy and love to share every detail of their lives with me. Although sometimes it’s difficult to keep them on task, we usually get a decent amount of work done.

1:20-2:15 – This is the period in which I attend my secondary role, which is the Operations Assistant. I basically help out in the front office with whatever they need. I often deliver papers around the building, make copies, and enter data into the school gradebook and database, called PowerSchool.

2:20 – 3:15 – My sixth and last tutorial for the day! I have two 7th grade boys in this tutorial, and they usually remain on-task. They often ask about their grades, and I check PowerSchool to let them know how they are doing.

3:20-3:30 – Ten minutes to myself! I use this time to eat a quick snack and unwind now that tutorial for the day is finished.

3:30-4:30 – Homework help begins! Another tutor and I are in charge of gathering the 7th grade students and transitioning them to the classroom in which homework help occurs. Once we have arrived, we break into small groups. I usually work with 2-3 students, helping them with their homework in all subjects. It is a nice time to be a little more relaxed with the students, and it provides an opportunity to get to know students who are not my assigned tutorial students.

4:45 – The day is over!! The bus comes to the school and takes us all back to TV. Having a bus, unlike the tutors at other schools, has its pros and cons. If I have extra work to do, there is not an option of staying at the school to get it done, but it also guarantees that we will be home at the same time each day.

5:00-9:00 – Depending on the day, I use this time to go grocery shopping at the ShopRite down the road (It’s a little too far to walk, but Teacher’s Village has a free shuttle service!) or at the new Whole Foods that just opened up which is a little more expensive, but within walking distance. I don’t eat out during the week so that I can save money, which means I spend time cooking dinner each night. Occasionally before dinner I head to happy hour with friends or coworkers! I try to do my laundry (TV has a laundry room on each floor) at least once a week. I also try (and sometimes fail) to go to the gym a few times per week, which is small but free and located right in my building. Some days I spend time calling my students’ parents to update them on their progress, or call my friends and family to catch up since I’m living far away from home. Once in a while if I’m behind I have to plan packets for tutorial while I’m at home, but not too often because there is no tutorial on Fridays, meaning we have most of the day to plan for the upcoming week.

9:00-10:30 – Time to shower and relax. Showering at night is something new I started doing once moving to Newark, because there’s simply not enough time in the morning. Usually after my shower I crawl into bed with a book. If I’m not already asleep before then, 10:30 is bedtime!

 

Kelly Hustak attended SUNY Geneseo as a Biology major and graduated May 2016. In the future she hopes to obtain her masters degree and have a career involving environmental education. Next year, she will be working with school groups at an outdoor center.