For new staff, it hasn’t been easy to adapt to the way DVC operates as far as unique schedules, CD, Advisory and students’ comfortability.
Within these ten weeks of school new teachers have been able to become familiar with these different aspects. Coming from other schools was hard for new staff members as many did not know what to expect at DVC, especially for current staff who are first-year high school teachers.
New 10th-grade Algebra 2 and Computer Science teacher, Beatriz Aguilar, came from a Catholic middle school in Downtown L.A. and arrived anxious as this is her first year as a high school teacher.
Aguilar says that one thing that’s similar to her previous Catholic culture and DVC’s culture is how close the community resembles a family. Something she would like to have is different bonds with each of her students.
“That’s one of the things that has helped me in the past seven years. Just making sure that I get to know each of my students. I feel like when you get to know your students you learn about them and their life,” said Aguilar.
However, getting closer to students is something every new teacher values as well as getting comfortable with their fellow staff members.
Steven Covelman, new 11th-grade U.S History teacher said, “Everyone was just super friendly when I got here, we did a lot of team building and bonding and that was a great way for me to get to know everyone. Everyone was just super open and really nice.”
Covelman taught eighth grade in Oahu, Hawaii before coming to California to teach History. Like other staff members, he came to DVC expecting things to be different from his previous schools.
“So far it’s been different in a really good way where everyone wants to help each other out and just have really good conversations,” said Covelman. “I really like being around my students and co-workers.”
Within these ten weeks, Covelman has been adapting to Advisory greatly. Advisory at Da Vinci is different from any other school. He says that Advisory is a very good way to interact with other students that he normally doesn’t have in his class.
For other teachers, like 10th-grade chemistry teacher Janee Gerard, they have continued to see progress in their comfortability and connection with their students that might have not been completely there at the beginning of the school year. Before DVC, Gerard taught Chemistry, Physics and AP Chemistry in both LAUSD and Green Dot Public Schools in LA.
“I feel much more comfortable now compared to how I felt the first day,” said Gerard. “I feel like the year is kind of going by quick and I’m just used to it a lot better than the first day.”
Coming into a new district she felt as if she didn’t belong at DVC. She was so used to the strong relationships she had where she used to be and here she didn’t have any strong relationships with anyone which proved to be hard for her. Now she feels so much more part of the school and knows where she stands as a new teacher.
Chris Miller, the new Student Success Coordinator, is at DVC to work with students and staff to target intervention strategies to ensure success for all students.
Miller taught P.E. and served as an English Language Development teacher for elementary and middle school students. He says he learned to adapt to DVC by saying “hi” to many and by just getting to vibe with students and staff.
“Going to the freshman overnighter was a huge help. And I think that broke down a lot of barriers for me and made me understand where a lot of students are coming from because that’s something most of the students here had experienced. And it’s a pretty big event that defines what Da Vinci is all about,” said Miller.