Angelina Champagne ’20 completed her first Field Period® at the World of Inquiry School #58 in Rochester. The experiences she had helped earn her the Freshman Experiential Learner of the Year Award.
Nominated by members of the faculty, the award is given to two students—one freshman and one upperclassman. The College established the award in recognition of its longstanding emphasis on experiential learning, and to celebrate individual achievements by its students.
Angelina says the World of Inquiry School is an experiential learning school, and focuses on education through hands-on learning through activities, field trips, and interaction with learning material.
“It was an honor to work at such an innovative, respected, welcoming, and focused school,” says Angelina, who was nominated by Dr. Nicholas Koberstein, assistant professor of child and family studies. “This school undoubtedly demonstrates its dedication to learning and positivity by the attitudes of the staff and students. I am so fortunate to have been part of such a team that focuses on the needs of all students and staff.”
From watching students and staff interact, attending meetings, and participating in events at the school, Angelina says she has a better understanding of a family-focused school environment.
“My supervisor, Mary Gagliano, 7th and 8th grade counselor, worked closely with the administration, parents, and other teachers on many issues regarding particular students,” she says. “The school is also focused on student success, and the staff go above and beyond to help a student he or she believes could use some extra attention. The school was welcoming, and gave me many things to observe and think about for my Field Period® experience. ”
Learning Ms. Gagliano’s responsibilities was important to Angelina, as she is considering becoming a counselor.
“I wanted to know what tasks I would be doing daily, and the things that would be required of me,” says Angelina. “I also learned that with pride in school, and respect for children and their parents, may make the staff do more than what is expected of them.”
In addition, Angelina says that establishing positive relationships with students is important because “having a good connection with students would let me better understand the relationship between counselors and students.”
She says she noticed these relationships in the way students were comfortable around Ms. Gagliano, and to Angelina, this meant creating a trusting relationship was important when working with students.
In following Ms. Gagliano’s footsteps, Angelina strived to create her own bond with the student at World of Inquiry School.
“I know I accomplished this goal because not only did they express that they would miss me when I left, but that they also wanted me to return before the school year was over,” she says. “In the future, I will continue to use this skill to allow for more trusting relationships in school, in my community, and in my family relationships.”
According to Angelina, counselors should be there to show where students excel and promote those behaviors.
“They should also allow the student to reach a level of self-awareness where they realize what areas they need to work on to become a better student and all around person,” she says.
And it seems as though Angelina already has a good start to becoming a counselor.
“My enthusiasm for helping others comes in conjunction with my abilities to communicate well with others, be a positive leader, and establish effective connections with others to promote healthy and trusting relationships,” says Angelina. “I strive to have empathy for others and understand the full situation before making any judgments or stereotyping others. For if I don’t help, who will?”
Working in the World of Inquiry School allowed Angelina to adjust to fit the goals and values of the school, which she knows is important in any professional environment.
“Learning about the core values of your particular workplace is important if you want to succeed in the organization,” she says. “At World of Inquiry, the focus is on teamwork or being a part of a ‘crew’ and building each other up. I can apply these positive aspects like questioning, compassion, and teamwork, in any location I work at in the future.”
The best part of Angelina’s Field Period®, she says, was interacting with the students and staff, and feeling a sense of belonging and acceptance.
“From the administration, to the students, to other counselors, to the security officers, I felt at home,” she says. “That feeling was apparent in every class I walked in on, in every student that I talked to, and every staff member I came into contact with.”
“A school is so much more than test scores and graduation rates—the true value of a school lies in its ability to help, care, and to progress its students,” Angelina adds. “This school is a true inspiration of the level of teamwork, progress, and care that should be at each and every school.”