The Oliver Wendell Holmes Elementary School (K0-Grade 5)
This week, I will be returning to the school where I began my career as an Educator back in 2006 exactly 10 years ago. I moved twice during my first year at the Holmes within the first five months of the school year. I worked there as a Paraprofessional for six years before budget cuts resulted in me moving on to two other schools after the 2010-11 school year. Now I will be returning to my first school community once again as a full-time staff member.
The Holmes School is in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. The last time I worked at the Holmes school, I lived in Roxbury between two bus routes that got me close (22 and 23) but I could walk straight there if I wanted to. Now I live in Hyde Park next to Dedham. To get to the Holmes, I’ll walk from my house to the Fairmount Commuter Rail Station, which is a short walk from Cleary Square on River Street. I’d then take the train two stops Inbound (to South Station) to the Talbot Ave. station, which was under construction during my first tenure at the Holmes. From there, it’s a short 5-minute walk to the school.
I’m intentionally not giving away exact locations since I don’t want to give away too much about how I travel to and from work. Plan B would also likely be a one-way trip going Inbound: I usually do my mid-week shopping after work so…yeah. Massive detour to Downtown Crossing and/or Back Bay! The tradeoff with that is I could just hop on the Orange Line to Forest Hills from either travel hub and take a taxi (usually do if I’m out past 8:00PM) or the 32 to get home.
Getting back to the main topic, the Holmes School uses an inclusion model and it’s where I learned what an inclusive classroom is supposed to look and feel like. The difference between the Holmes and Mission Hill is one is K0 to Grade 5 and the other is K0 to Grade 8. The Holmes actually also has more classrooms than Mission Hill despite having less grades: Before I left the Holmes, the school had 6 kindergarten classrooms: One K0 and 5 K1-K2 classroom. The school has three classrooms for grades 1 to 5, totalling 21 classrooms total (5 x 3 = 15 + 6 = 21). The Holmes also does not have multi-grade classrooms, which Mission Hill does. The benefit to two-grade classrooms is students will have the same teacher for two years. This is why Mission Hill has less classrooms than the Holmes in comparison despite going to Grade 8: One K0-K2, 3 K1-K2, 3 Grade 1/2 and Grade 3/4 and two Grade 5/6 and two Grade 7/8 Classrooms, totalling 14 classrooms. That’s a 7-classroom difference. Having worked in both schools for several years, I can make that comparison.
The one thing I want to stress is for the return to the Holmes, I’m alot more experienced than I was 10 years ago. I’m a lot less naive for one. I’m also much more focused like I was during my last year at Mission Hill. Focused on the work that needs to be done and what I need to do. I’m also less stiff and rigid, which is always handy =D
The 2015-16 Boston school year begins this Tuesday!
As you all know, I took the last two and a half months of the 2014-15 school year off due to stress. As I mentioned in my June 30 post on the matter, I left the door open to returning to BPS just in case. In light of the fact I’ve been unsuccessful so far in securing new employment that has a decient/reliable Health Insurance coverage, I will begin the process of ending my long-term leave of absence in the next day or two.
I missed the excess pool and will pick from what’s left before the remaining open positions are made available to new hires. I got the notification as well as a spreadsheet containing a list of the open positions at the time two weeks after the excess pool already happened. It happened because at the time, the BTU didn’t have my current home address on file. A problem I fixed as a result of that XD
Health insurance and obvious income needs aside, I have a more personal reason for returning to BPS: My 6-year old niece. Last week, I became aware of concerns around her comprehension and fliuency as a reader. Due to my background, I agreed to take over as her tutor for the long-term . I plan to meet with her teacher when the school year begins to make sure she gets a well rounded education plan. Plus I did tell her I would teach her to read like a boss.
…Those who’ve had the honor of working with me know The Aurabolt’s dedication to Education is not to be underestimated Of course, I’m obviously very passionate about it =D
This time, it’s personal for me. I plan to work part time during the next school year so I can still focus on other things. If things go as planned, I should finish the whole school year this time! I will provide an update on the subject once my employment and school assignment have been both confirmed, likely in a few weeks. Before my fomer collagues from my previous school get too excited, I am not returning to that particular school next year. I do plan to visit at the end of the month, though.
Look forward to it ^_^
Five years ago today, the San Jose Mine in Chile collapsed, trapping 33 Miners underground. CNN saved everything from back then. Click here to go to all of their coverage from back then. A new window will open.
I was fortunate enough to see the first recue and the last recue on CNN 5 years ago. I saw the first one before I left for work that October morning and the last one later that evening. No doubt the 1 Billion people who watched the rescue worldwide on TV breathed a collective sign of relief when the last miner was hoisted above ground. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera was there to greet all 33 miners as they were rescued. he’s the guy standing directly in front of the white door in the above picture.
American engineer Jeff Hart was drilling wells in Afghanistan when he was called in to help with the crucial part of the recue effort: The Fenix-2 Capsule. If not for the capsule, which hoisted the miners to the surface one at a time the original timeline for the recue was around Christmas. The new plan involving the capsule cut the time in half.
I remember CNN’s Wolf Blitzer saying while the network covered the recue effort this was uncharted territory for a number of reasons. For one, there was no guarantee all 33 miners would still be alive long enough to be rescued. NASA Doctors and Scientists monitored the miners’ conditions closely. As messed up as it sounds, NASA used the opportunity to study how the miners coped with being in a dark, confined area for two months. Seriously though, all 33 Miners are still dealing with the psychological trauma from their time underground.
Miner Mario Sepulveda summed up the unfortunate truth of the miners’ lives since the fame dried up in a Daily Mail Article. First and foremost, the psychological damage can’t be overstated enough. That said, Mario expressed what is the unfortunate truth of folks in their position: They were exploited by everyone for fame and money before being abandoned. Chile’s greatest story of hope has been forgotten by even its own government, which is very corrupt. The miners, on the other hand were left penniless and forgotten.
This brings me to news of the movie about their experience:
As Mario said when the 33 greenlit the movie, they’re pessamistic about getting a cut of the profits though according to CNN, they’re all guaranteed $100,000 if the movie breaks even. That was part of the negotiations for the movie deal. They’re not supid: They know they’re being exploited for money but this time they’re making sure they get paid. Mario said he will wait until he sees the finished product before he critques it though the actors playing them spent time with each miner.
The underground scenes were shot in an abandoned mine in Columbia while the above ground scenes were shot above the same mine to reinact the cameground the was built around the rescue site. The original San Jose Mine has since been sealed off though some of the miners do visit the mine’s entrance from time to time.
In most of the recent bioflicks done, the source material isn’t readily available since they’re no longer alive. The 33 is an exception: Former Chilean President Sebastian Pinera will apparently play himself in the movie. The least the men whose rescue inspired the world deserve is the happy ending they should have gotten five years ago. I wish them and their families only the best.