San Francisco International High School Span Mentor Challenges Students to Find Answers and Solve Problems
At San Francisco International High School’s ACE Learning Center, it’s recognized that continuing education is linked to job readiness. The Span Tutor and Span Mentor Programs create jobs that build students’ professional skills and make them more employable beyond the SFIHS community. This is part of a series of SFIHS Mentors and Tutors who report on their experiences with the paid program.
By Guest Blogger Krizia, San Francisco International High School Alumni and Span Mentor
I am Krizia, born in San Francisco, CA. My family moved around a lot, so I grew up all over the Bay Area. I graduated from high school in Fremont, CA and moved back to San Francisco shortly afterwards.
Kyle Halle-Erby is my connection to San Francisco International High School (SFIHS.) We met when I worked in the SPAN program and mentored some of his former students at City College of San Francisco. At CCSF, I was one of the founding members of VIDA, the organization supporting undocumented college students. Now, I am wrapping up my second semester at the University of California, Berkeley. Originally, I enrolled as an undergraduate student in the Social Welfare department. However, after taking a look at all my skills and interests, I found that quantitative research is what I truly want aspire towards. I am now fulfilling prerequisites for a Bachelor’s of Arts in Statistics.
At SFIHS, I support 9th/10th graders in Biology and Geometry, and 11th graders in Algebra 2. I mostly encourage groups of students to help each other out. The challenging parts are when I do not know if I should guide a student towards the answer, or just give them the answer if they are not getting my hints. It’s also challenging to only speak English with them because I want them to learn more English, but sometimes they need to use their translators when they don’t understand a word.
However, there are many fulfilling parts about working at SFIHS. It’s especially gratifying when the kids call me “Miss,” warm up to me, and tell me about their personal lives outside of school. A special rewarding moment was when a particular student, who gets distracted a lot and draws instead of doing class work, warmed up to me and trusted me enough to follow my direction about getting back to work and finish just one problem. So, now I just ask this student to do only one problem at a time. It’s so endearing when he checks in with me after finishing just that one problem.