When Councillor Mazen offered me this position, I was ecstatic. I'm humbled by the opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much. My passion for learning runs deep, so I consider it an honor to inspire others to feel the same way.
Over the past couple of years I have had the pleasure of being part of the Cambridge learning community in various exciting ways. My work at the Elm St. community school and my work volunteering have allowed me to learn with some exceptional students and educators. These experiences have given me unique insight into how much this city truly values learning - and as a result, I have developed great respect and admiration for the the Cambridge community.
I recently obtained my M. ED from Lesley University with a focus on high school political science. I believe in an “immersive education” for students and, in future blog posts, I’ll share a lot about what I mean by immersing students in “differentiated learning experiences” during their educational journey.
In my work as a substitute teacher, I have interacted with a variety of students and has involved myself in a number of the schools in the district. I’ve also been part of the out of school time (OST) community in Cambridge, both with my work as an after school teacher and as a volunteer with Cambridge School Volunteers and the Possible Project.
Based of my past experiences and our shared interests, Councillor Mazen and I thought it would be best if my work were to focus on projects dealing with out of school time, and in particular issues of access and equity, in Cambridge. During the past few months I have been meeting with teachers, program directors, and others in the community to try and understand the current landscape of OST in Cambridge. It’s through this work that I found one of the greater areas of need is connecting 4th and 5th grade students to OST programs. Specifically, I am working with families and students without the means or habit of accessing programs, and helping to connect them to the OST opportunities available in our community.
My plan for the next couple of months will involve working one-on-one with several teachers to help identify which of their students are currently not in any kind of after school program, but wish to be. Then, with help from the teachers, we will start reaching out to those interested students and families, working with them on OST opportunities and placements.
This is my first of many blog posts chronicling my experiences. My hope is to take you along with me as I catalogue the successes and challenges I face, as I go. This blog will also be used to help share my insight on what is going on in the learning community throughout Cambridge. But most of all, this is a great way to get your feedback, advice, ideas, and actual help.
Please feel free to contact me if you or anyone you know would be interested in connecting a student to a opportunities in the city. I can be reached by email at Jake@Nadeemtron.com and by phone at 781-775-5060.
I look forward to this challenge and the chance to help give back to my community.