I love the moment on the first day of summer school when our new fifth graders nervously enter the school building, waiting anxiously to be welcomed to the new academic year. Nothing beats looking out at our 100 beautiful new KIPP students who are embarking on an incredibly journey. As I look at the faces of our future leaders I wonder what motivates them, what challenges we’ll encounter together, and what stories we’ll share at the end of the year. At the fifth grade campus we have the responsibility of initiating our KIPP students, providing them with the academic tools and character traits necessary to compete for spots in top-tier universities. Our fifth grade class consistently begins the school year averaging a second grade level in reading and math, often bringing an apathetic attitude towards learning. We are challenged with the task of inspiring them to show grit, never make excuses and celebrate growth so that they can pursue their passions and dreams, and make a positive impact on the world. I started teaching on my 22nd birthday at Gage Middle School in Huntington Park, and today marks the end of my seventh year in education (and my first year as an administrator). It has definitely not always been all fun and games, but I can’t imagine working in any other field.
We celebrated our last day of school with a beautiful end of year culmination ceremony. The inspirational Dr. Corliss Bennett-McBride, Director of The Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs at the University of Southern California was our keynote speaker, encouraging our KIPPsters to dream big and never give up. Thank you to all the teachers and parents for helping organize such a beautiful event!
Ok so it wouldn’t be a Restless Runner post without SOME mention of running. And yes, there was a little running that happened today. I ran five miles using the Mizuno Baton to benefit Back on My Feet. Essentially you have seven days to log as many miles as you can using the app, and for every mile you run, Mizuno donates a dollar to Back on My Feet. I timed this perfectly to end on the day I leave for NY. So basically I’ll be running LOTS of miles before I head out for NY for the summer. How many miles do you think I can squeeze into seven days!? Shout out to Alaina for gifting me this AWESOME Richard Simmons shirt. And yes, we did work out with Richard Simmons. Alaina, let’s go do that again. Richard rocks. Maybe we can initiate our new teachers with the Slimmons class?