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High Jump Alumna and TA, Caroline

Caroline is a High Jump alumna and a junior at the Latin School, which is where her own Teaching Assistants (TAs) attended when Caroline was enrolled at High Jump. “My TAs went to Latin and I looked up to them a lot,” she says. “I guess I did end up following in their footsteps!”

This past summer, Caroline began serving as a TA at the Lab School campus – and it was a very different experience than she (and everyone else!) expected. “Everything was virtual. It was stressful at first, but High Jump made it possible to maintain the kinds of connections that were so important to me as a student. The other TAs were so welcoming, and we’ve done a lot to bond with each other. I genuinely have so much fun, which is kind of strange because I’m just sitting at a computer! But getting to know the kids and allowing them to understand my experience at Latin and my way of learning has been really rewarding, even though we’re not in the same room,” she says.

“This summer, we adapted some of our daily, optional tutoring sessions to be more of a social hour. Now we take time to play games, talk about our worries, even have a dance party. It made students really happy to have that time with their friends, and with their TAs, too.”

Caroline works closely with High Jump teachers to ensure that students stay as engaged, focused, and happy as possible while learning remotely. “One thing that has worked really well this year is setting up breakout Zoom rooms for the kids to work in. The teacher and I pop in every few minutes to answer questions and check on progress; the rest of the time, the kids have the opportunity to get to know each other and collaborate. It’s a lot better than just having a teacher talk at them!”

This kind of collaboration is crucial, Caroline says, because the best thing about High Jump is the community – and there’s more to that than just the academics. Caroline and her fellow TAs discovered that the kids could benefit from more recreation during the day. “This summer, we adapted some of our daily, optional tutoring sessions to be more of a social hour. Now we take time to play games, talk about our worries, even have a dance party. It made students really happy to have that time with their friends, and with their TAs, too,” she says.

Caroline’s experience as a High Jump TA prepared her well for a remote school year. Then, in late October, the Latin School transitioned into a hybrid remote/on-site model. “I’m a little nervous, but also excited to start learning in a different way,” she says. She’s eager to start planning for her future, too; Caroline is the first in her family to have the ambition and opportunity to go to college. “Right now, I’m just starting to consider schools. I’d like to go into medicine, so I’m considering the University of Michigan and University of Pennsylvania. But it’s still early – I have a lot to think about.”

Caroline knows from experience that High Jump kids admire their TAs and turn to them for advice and guidance. To the middle schoolers she works with, Caroline offers these words of wisdom: “I’ll give you the same advice I give myself: just keep going. What we’re going through right now doesn’t feel good, but we have many years ahead of us and this will all pay off in the long run. We’re all going through this right now together, and we will get through it together, too.”

You can help more students like Caroline pursue their dreams with High Jump’s help!

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