By Meghan Wagner
City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps Member
Serving at Bay View Middle and High School
As this is City Year's first year partnering with Milwaukee Public Schools' Bay View Middle and High School (BVHS), I feel that this would be an awesome opportunity to share what one of our days looks like at BVHS.
Even though we are new to the school, we already feel like an important aspect of the school's culture. Each day we begin promptly at 7:30 to conduct our first circle. There we begin our day with joys, ripples and appreciations. This is a great chance to check in with each other and get ready for a great day of service. After that we get fired up with a readiness check and wrap things up with our announcements for the day.
From first circle, we usually all head down to the front entrance for power greeting. It’s the first thing that students experience when they arrive and is meant to set the tone for the student’s day. We mark their arrival with our enthusiastic chants and poor dance skills!
After the first bell at 8:30, we go into the school and head to our respective first period classes. The day itself goes by in a blur filled with classes, collaboration meetings and our prep periods. I was initially under the assumption that the ten-hour days would drag on, but fortunately I’ve been proven wrong. The relationships that I have formed with the students and staff make the class periods fly by.
After the final bell rings at the end of the day our City Year team comes to together to debrief and reflect. We conclude our day at 5:30 with a final circle very similar to the first, with an added debrief question, and end our day on a spirit break.
City Year has a culture of its own. While still growing accustomed to it all, it seemed odd and repetitive, maybe even a tad ridiculous to me at times. Since then I’ve come to see that there’s a depth of thought and intention behind it all and I’ve committed to City Year’s unique way of doing things.
Setting a foundation for City Year at BVHS has been an exciting challenge for our team. The staff has been extremely welcoming and everything about being at Bay View has been such a positive experience. I look forward to what the year has in store for us!