Benchmark has a partnership with Swarthmore College's education department and hosted five general ed students observing and supporting classes over a 6 week period from November into December. These five students—Mia Peng, George Corzine, Izzy Lopez-Kala, Sofie Pelayo, and Andrew Hennin—were assigned to math, science, language arts, and technology classes in the lower and middle school. These Swarthmore students, officially observers and general assistants for the classroom teachers, quickly became a part of the classroom community.
On his last day at Benchmark, student George Corzine, who had been embedded in Julie Mattaliano's 5th grade class, shared his thoughts about his Benchmark experience. George is majoring in economics and psychology, and this year he's taking his first education course. He loved this field placement at Benchmark and says, "It's been a great experience. Both of my parents work in education, and I've become more interested in it as I've gotten older. I could see myself doing it."
About Benchmark, George says, "I loved how welcoming the class was, and how nice they all were. The level of attention given to the kids stood out to me too. I really enjoyed the experience."
Julie Mattaliano comments, "The kids loved having George in class. He jumped right in and helped as needed. He even supervised a group counting up their UNICEF money. They felt a real personal connection with him, and were sad that his time with us had come to an end. On his last day, my students made cards for him, and even played him in basketball because they found out he's on Swarthmore's team!"
We're very glad that the Swarthmore students came to enrich our school community, and we look forward to hosting more students in the future.