Monthly Archives: April 2016

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May 2016: Samantha Hyland

Samantha working with students.

Samantha working with students.

Ministry: De Marillac Academy, San Francisco, California

College: La Salle University

What do you do? At De Marillac Academy, I serve as the Academic Resource Teacher, working with grades 4-8. I work with our students who have documented learning needs and help to identify those who need further academic or behavioral assistance.

What would you say to a friend from home who questioned why you chose to live with the Brothers?

I continually get the question of “why do you choose live with the Brothers?” My response is simple! For two years I have had the opportunity to grow and learn with over 200 years of combined teaching experience under my own roof! I come home each night and I am surrounded by heartwarming laughter and debriefing of the day’s events. They are truly the best community members.

Sacred Heart Community 16Why would you recommend joining Lasallian Volunteers to a college senior considering volunteering?

Being a college senior is an exciting, but also a scary time in one’s life. There are so many uncertainties that come with graduation. The LV program is a wonderful way to transition into the working world. The support and compassion the LVs experience from the staff, community and service sites makes a huge difference in your first year as a working adult.

Why would you recommend that prospective donors make a contribution to Lasallian Volunteers?

The LVs are blessed with the contributions made by many donors so that we may serve and live without worrying about the funds it takes to support us. The retreats and year-round support would never happen without the generous contributions of our wonderful donors.

How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with Lasallian Sacred Heart BDayVolunteers?

I am blessed to continue with the Lasallian family for the next academic year as I transition out of my LV experience and have been hired on to continue serving my students at De Marillac Academy. I would have never been able to have this opportunity if I was not a Lasallian Volunteer. I look forward to taking the lessons and values I have learned from being an LV and applying it to the next stage in my life!

Have you noticed any signs of success in your work? 

My service at DMA is working with students who may feel like they have tried everything and they still don’t “get it.” They may not have the skills in their toolbox that they need to feel successful. And this is why I love my service. I meet my students where they are. I meet them when they are frustrated, confused, silly, and confident. I provide them the tools that will ensure their success. My goal for them is to understand their strengths and challenges, and self-advocate for what they need. I see success when my students are able to come to me with work of which they are proud, or with something that challenged them before and now they just “get it.”

Hyland With Student FunHow has your involvement with the Brothers affected you?

The Brothers I live with are literally the best people in the world (but I may be biased). My Bros are kind, driven, humble and compassionate. They are living examples of our founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle. I cannot even count the number of times I threw out the lesson I had planned for the next day because one of the Brothers gave me advice about how to approach it differently. They ask me each night how my students are, naming them and caring for them like their own. My involvement with the Brothers has made me a better teacher, but, more importantly, has made me a well-rounded individual.

What is the most important “thing,” do you think, that your students need from you? 

As my two years of being a Lasallian Volunteer and the Resource Teacher at DMA come to an end, I have reflected upon what I provide for my students. I provide them with things like academic support, test taking strategies, and guidance for taking notes. But at the end of the day, this is not what they value most from me as a teacher. After I am done teaching, I always shake the students’ hands and tell them I am proud of them. Every day, I witness success, no matter how big or small, and I feel it is crucial for them to be aware of their growth. Every student should know that someone is proud of them and that they are making a difference.

By |April 29th, 2016|Categories: lv of the month, news + events|Comments Off on May 2016: Samantha Hyland

John Schatz: #IwannaLV

John Schatz, 15-16, DeLaSalle HS, Minneapolis, MN

John Schatz, 15-16, DeLaSalle HS, Minneapolis, MN

I had just finished my second phone interview with Lasallian Volunteers and was informed that I would be going to Minneapolis, MN. I was confused, and frankly, a little disappointed. On my application I checked off that my preference was placement on the East Coast. I had limited knowledge of the Midwest, with absolutely no knowledge of Minneapolis other than Ric Flair grew up somewhere nearby and your nose hair froze when you walked outside for three months of the year. Needless to say, I wanted to be placed somewhere else.

However, when I read the job description of “Learning Lab Coordinator,” my thoughts on my placement changed. If I could create my own job description at a school, it would be very similar to the description, Learning Lab Coordinator; I had in front of me. I work with students who have learning accommodations. Some of them are more difficult than others, but I’m finding that I enjoy the challenge and I’m pretty good at getting the students to listen and change their study habits.

John Schatz #2I love the Twin Cities. They have so much more to offer than I could have ever imagined. The food is incredible, parks and greenery are all over the place, and the winter is beautiful. Living with the Brothers and the other LVs has forced me to grow as a person and made me take substantial steps in maturing as a young adult. They truly have become a second family to me. By far, my favorite part of Lasallian Volunteers is the students. They are hilarious, ambitious, and curious. I didn’t know what my ideal boss was like until I met my boss at my service site. Everything clicked into place and I fell in love with every aspect of my job. Who would have thought?

John Schatz -editedNow, I have signed up to do a second year at the same site. On a lot of social media accounts of Lasallian Volunteers include the hashtag, “IwannaLV.” So the question I find myself asking is why do I want to LV? Why did I sign up for another year? I’m sure a lot of volunteers, including myself, among other things would say, “I want to make a difference.” That’s the kicker though, I’m not sure if I am making a difference. I won’t know for years. I was discussing the idea of making a difference in a high school with my dad, who taught English for 44 years. He encouraged me, telling me that he didn’t know how much he impacted some of his students until years later, when he ran into them at the grocery store.

It can be rough. It takes a special kind of person to pursue a career in education, I’m realizing as someone who majored in economics and political science. It is a lot of groundwork, groundwork you may not necessarily get to see flourish. Students can write me notes telling me to have a good day, give me a drawing for my birthday, or invite me to their symphony orchestra concert, but that just means they like me. It doesn’t mean that I’m changing their lives for the better. I can only hope that I am making a difference, since I will only have been here for two years by the end of my placement, but that is enough for me. That hope is why I want to LV.

John Schatz is a 1st year LV serving at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a 2015 graduate of La Salle University.

By |April 27th, 2016|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on John Schatz: #IwannaLV

Ellie Cash: Real Accomplishments

What is your most significant accomplishment?

As my peers have written throughout the past year, being a Lasallian Volunteer is somewhat like learning to juggle, choreographing a new dance, or, as we all really know it, a long journey with many ups and downs.  Depending on if it was an “up” or “down” day, I must admit that I have struggled with my role as a volunteer and what my defined purpose has been. As the end of this year is rapidly approaching, I have been especially focused on what I am going to take with me after all of the juggling and dancing on this journey, so when I was recently asked “What is your most significant accomplishment?”, I was, oddly enough, prepared to answer.

Ellie Cash 15-16, San Miguel High School, Tucson, AZ

Ellie Cash 15-16, San Miguel High School, Tucson, AZ

As an educator, I know that my performance is reflected in what my students accomplish. I recently looked back on the educational philosophy that I wrote, edited, and rewrote many times throughout my collegiate years and realized what is truly important – recognizing the differences in my students, both in the way they learn as well as what outside factors may play a role in their time in the classroom. After reflecting on this, I then asked myself whether or not I’ve done this throughout my time at San Miguel. How much have I adapted my teaching to my students’ needs? How do I know if and when I’ve done this? If I have done this, how can I possibly measure it?

What I have come to realize is that I have accomplished so much more than what a great teaching review or observation would give me. I have known from the beginning how much my time in the classroom with my students is a blessing in my life, but I have come to find concrete reasons why I know this is true.

Ellie Cash, John Tudisco, and Bro. Jonathan at prom!

Ellie, John Tudisco, and Bro. Jonathan at prom.  

The biggest achievements that come to mind are the moments when I hear, “Oooooooh!” as I’m finishing writing a practice problem on the board and a student begins to put together the different pieces of the lesson, or a “YES!” after a student finds out that she/he has solved an equation correctly. Actually, the most rewarding moments may be when one student is teaching another why a certain step in putting together a graph is important, or when a student repeats one of “Ms. Cash’s tips for success” while they’re studying by themselves. Personally, I think I’ve won for the day when I am able to see that most, if not all, of my students completed their homework correctly, and wrote notes to me about where they got lost at first, but now they understand. This may seem silly, but I see so much success in these moments!

What I’m trying to say is that as volunteers, and especially volunteers serving in schools, we must continue to not just pat ourselves on the back for a day’s work well done, but recognize how big our small moments really are. That “YES!” moment could have very easily have been a student’s first for the day, and I couldn’t feel more accomplished knowing that it happened in my classroom.

In hindsight, I’d say that I’ve had quite a few significant accomplishments today. The most significant? Each question that was resolved and every new piece of information successfully received; alone these are little victories, but together, they form steps toward succeeding in math (and even enjoying it) a bit more than they did yesterday.

Ellie Cash is a 1st year LV serving at San Miguel High School in Tucson, Arizona and is a 2015 graduate of Saint Louis University.

By |April 20th, 2016|Categories: blog, news + events|Comments Off on Ellie Cash: Real Accomplishments