Inside the Classroom with Alisha Thompson
By Rebecca Xie, Civic Ally
On April 9 2014, I sat down with Democracy Coach Alisha Thompson to discuss her experience with Generation Citizen.
Rebecca: How do you feel being a teacher? Are there any differences from being a student?
Alisha: I think being a teacher means a lot more responsibilities. I have to put a lot of effort into being a good mentor. Now I can see how much it takes to become a teacher and how challenging it is.
Rebecca: How do you prepare for your class?
Alisha: First, I would do some research regarding the focus of the class. Then, I want to know what’s going on in the community. Last but not least, I always look for effective ways to teach because I want my teaching to be efficient and substantial enough for the students.
Rebecca: How long have you been teaching?
Alisha: I became a Democracy Coach in fall 2013. This is my second semester, and I feel more confident of myself now.
Rebecca: Are there any difficulties being a coach?
Alisha: Yes. I had an early class to teach last semester. I was 50 minutes late once, and I felt really bad, so this semester I decided to teach in the afternoon. I still think I could be better at teaching. I have a lot of things that I need to work on. For example, I feel like I am self-spoken sometimes, and I want to improve my teaching skills to keep my students motivated.
Rebecca: Are there any moments that your students surprised you with questions or opinions during class?
Alisha: I was surprised at their enthusiasm and insight, and I was surprised at how much they know at their age. When we talked about homelessness in New York City, they showed a lot of passion because they know people who are in fact homeless themselves, and I am very happy to see how thoughtful they were during our discussion.
Rebecca: What was the most touching moment?
Alisha: Civics Day. When I saw their presentation, I saw how much they learned and how much they have done. It’s touching and amazing all at the same time.