Ellie’s Eight Grade Endeavors, Episode 5: The End of an Era


GC’s very own FAO Schwarz Fellow Ellie Sanchez is currently teaching the GC Core Program to an 8th grade class at the Joseph Lee K-8 School in Dorchester, MA. While Ellie’s primary job is to be Boston’s Program Associate, she’s also stepped into the shoes of our Democracy Coaches to teach a GC class for the first time. Each week, Ellie will be sharing with us stories from the classroom: lessons she’s learned, updates on her class’s project, and much more. Enjoy!

December 22, 2015

Our endeavors have come to an end as my students presented their “Youth Programs Curve Violence” project before several judges last Tuesday. Although they were really nervous about what they were going to say, they were in awe by the experience of seeing so many other classrooms working on projects that affected youth in Boston.
Overall, the day was an incredible success. From the Joseph Lee School getting a shout out from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in her keynote speech, to Zhane rocking the student judge role, I couldn’t be more proud of what my students were able to accomplish this semester. At the end of the day, my partner teacher, who struggled in trusting the GC process, came up to me and said “I cannot wait to get started next semester. I’m already thinking ahead!” Being a democracy coach was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had in a classroom. These students have taught me so much about the how systems are at fault for disengaging students of color in low-income communities. Still, I’m positive that they now also see how they can dismantle these systems by actively advocating for themselves.

-Ellie Sanchez


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