Yesi Lucatero serves as an AmeriCorps (corps) member at Fern Bacon Middle School. She grew up in Modesto, CA and earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at UC Merced. She serves as a corps member because she believes students should have extra support throughout their academic career.
As an exciting addition to her service year, Yesi has the opportunity to collaborate with a former City Year corps member Ms. Navarro who is now a full-time teacher with Fern Bacon Middle School. Ms. Navarro served as a corps member at Oak Ridge Elementary during the 2014-15 academic school year.
What are some of the joys of working in a classroom with a previous corps member, now teacher?
I was thrilled when I found out my partner teacher would be a previous City Year Sacramento corps member. It’s great to work with Ms. Navarro because she’s been through the year of service so she knows first-hand what to expect and therefore offers great advice. Ms. Navarro and I have been able to sit down and talk about her year of service and what techniques did or did not work for her. She gave me advice on how to build relationships with the students as well as how to go about supporting students in their behavioral needs. I’m fortunate in that not only is my partner teacher a City Year alumna, but I also have the opportunity of working alongside another City Year alumna, Ms. Dana, during Ms. Navarro’s fifth and sixth period. It’s great to be able to work with both Ms. Navarro and Ms. Dana as they both offer great advice and feedback.
What is the importance of collaboration in the classroom?
It is important because it allows me to more fully support the students in their needs. As Ms. Navarro teaches to the full class, I am able to work on aiding the students who need the targeted one-on-one support.
What does your typical day look like at Fern Bacon?
A typical day for a corps member includes helping supervise students arriving to campus before classes begin, then helping to provide support to our partner teachers and working with students in targeted interventions. We help with lunch duties and then we move into the afterschool space to help students with their homework and other projects they are working on.
Specifically, my day begins with supervision in the quad and when the first bell rings, I go to my first/second period class with Mrs. Licon and Mr. Smith. During first period, I support the class by helping redirect behavior and answering questions. Second period is math 7 and is usually when I help to provide small-group support for students. During this time, I am switching off between monitoring one group, making sure they are paying attention, and working with another group who might have questions on the assignment.
Third period, I switch to Ms. Navarro’s eighth grade math support class where I currently provide whole class support. Then, I go to my lunch/ prep period. During the students' lunch period, I am supervising at the lunch lines.
During fifth and sixth period I am back in Ms. Navarro’s class assisting with the whole class or sometimes working specifically with one or two students. During the after school program, I provide support to students with their homework and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, another corps member and I assist with the cooking club.
How do you and Ms. Navarro work together to plan for each week?
Ms. Navarro and I are meeting every Thursday during our prep times to discuss how I am doing in the class, what I need to improve on or what I can do differently. During this time we review next week’s schedule and what material we will be presenting to the class. We also take this time to discuss how to better present material to the classes to increase participation.
What is a goal that you and Ms. Navarro have set for this year?
Ms. Navarro and I are working together this year to help find a way to motivate students and encourage them to take advantage of the resources they have available to them.