2008 Bloggers–Surprise?

Ezra Fishman responded to the prompt, “What surprised you most last summer?”

I surprised myself by being able to connect with my students outside the classroom.  My first summer (Cambridge ’07), I struggled to connect with the students as people and to forge relationships with them. I felt I did a pretty good job teaching math and social studies, but I was not sure I really touched my students.  So I expected that my second summer (Hong Kong ’08) I would struggle in the same way, especially because of the new language and cultural barriers between myself and the students. I ended up being better able to connect with my Hong Kong students.  Perhaps a year of experience helped.  Plus, the Hong Kong students were a bit older than my Cambridge students.  Finally, Summerbridge Hong Kong has a great system where teachers and students write letters to each other. This really helped me get to know my students and helped them get to know me. I think my second summer my personal connections with the students might have been stronger than my in-class teaching.  The relationships are so important, because a lot of Breakthrough is about providing role models for the students.

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