While the played-out high school stereotypes – the anxiety producing cacophony of the dining hall, death defying conversations in the hallways between classes, and pretending to understand words like “past participle” – are all part of the package as KW’s only high school EIRs, my first moments at Lincoln Academy have turned out to more aptly define how special this experience has been thus far. As I arrived on my first day, parking (unbeknownst to me) in the student lot, I closed my door and turned around to be greeted by the three smiling faces of students exiting the beater next to me. “Hi!” they said, “Are you new here? Welcome!” Slightly overwhelmed and caught off guard thinking about the unintended consequences of shaving I laughed and responded “Well you’re not entirely wrong – can you show me where the office is?” To be honest, I wasn’t expecting such an overwhelming display of warmth, but that’s what I’ve become accustom to here at LA. I’ve been welcomed and helped along my way by the supportive staff and students that make this place so special.
My days since then have been primarily filled by working down the hill at the alternative education program Teague Street. It has been an eye-opening and powerful experience broadening my horizons as an educator and mentor. The small class size has allowed me to develop good relationships with the students and the open self-guided class structure makes it easy for me to get involved. Some highlights from Teague include cooking Gyoza and Korean Rice Bowls as a part of an Asian cuisine week, weekly trips to the DRA, and weekly trips to Kieve to do some TLS curriculum. We also work with First-Year Advisory groups going through leadership curriculum with them on a weekly basis, facilitate open gym during lunch, and we work doing after school programming for the boarding students twice a week. Some greatest hits from the residential programming include ice skating at the DRA, playing soccer at the Pitch, and Big Prize Bingo! These experiences have aided us to get valuable name recognition and face time up on campus to develop more relationships with students. All in all, my time at Lincoln Academy so far has been a blast and I am grateful for all the support I have gotten from LA staff and KW staff alike!
Howdy! My name is Eli Campbell and this is my first EIR experience. I’m working with First Year Advisory groups, alternative Ed program called IDEAL, and with the afterschool residential program alongside Matt Moss-Hawkins. At the IDEAL house, our mornings include activities like shoveling snow, watching documentaries, working at the DRA, and working on personal student projects. In the afternoon, I help students work on their academics in 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 settings. My role in this program is to primarily be a positive role model in the eyes of these nine young men, and to help them with academics when I can. In this sense, I’ve really taken the literal Celtic meaning of the word Kieve “to strive in emulation of” to heart, because I know I can make a large difference in a short amount of time to these boys. It’s been a crazy, emotional, yet important experience in my development as an educator and young adult, especially because I’ve never been exposed to the problems the majority of these boys face on a daily basis.
Our time up at the main school building has been great, albeit short. I think that we are finally starting to see our work in first year advisor programs pay off, and our time working with the residential programs has been fun and rewarding for both Matt and myself, as well as the students.
Overall, Lincoln Academy has treated me well so far! It’s been an awesome experience working with a particular group of students for an extended period of time, as opposed to the short, week-long period at TLS. As a result, I really get to spread the Kieve message of kindness and respect on a consistent basis. Moreover, I am currently applying to several school counseling graduate programs, and my experience (especially in the IDEAL program) at Lincoln Academy has provided me with a tremendous and invaluable experience and glimpse into what my future may hold.