So Many Top Dogs…

Top Dog is the highest honor that can be earned by a student at Citizen Schools at Campbell Middle School

“Ms. Robertson, can I nominate a Top Dog based on our apprenticeship today?” Not only was Lilly working hard during our apprenticeship last week– she was also noticing Sierra and wanting to recognize her effort. I told Lilly that students are usually eligible for a Top Dog nomination after going above and beyond our expectations throughout the week and across program elements (apprenticeships, math league, explorations, etc.). “But I’ve been seeing her work SO hard today. She is showing so much teamwork and perseverance!”

Our apprenticeship– Civic Engagement– brings incredible drive into all of our students. For the past two weeks, we’ve worked on painting a wall and planting flowers and shrubs at Joseph Gomes Park. After the ten minute walk, students have a bit over an hour to get dirt under their nails and paint on their t-shirts (and mine, curiously enough). Thanks to 30 hard-working hands, we’ll already be done with this big project by the end of week 3.

My students’ hands want to be moving. They want to touch and hold things. Their feet hunger to jump and run. Their bodies want to be outside and their mouths want to be asking their questions and speaking their truths. When given the opportunity and the guidance, these young individuals direct all of this joy, energy, and desire into something productive and beautiful.

Our Civic Engagement apprenticeship is off to a fantastic start. I’m not sure if Sierra will earn Top Dog this week, but I’m confident that she and her fellow apprentices are on the path to learn about paint, plants, and especially community in an impactful way.


About kristenr

Kristen Robertson is entering her second year as a Teaching Fellow at Campbell Middle School in Campbell, California where she is the academic program lead. Before joining the Citizen Schools community, Kristen interned with the Roots & Shoots program of the Jane Goodall Institute in Berkeley, CA and graduated from the University of the Pacific where she studied international relations and global studies as well as Spanish language and literature. Her favorite apprenticeships last year were Community Garden, the Search for the Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie, Sun Quest, and Girls Soccer. If she’s not with her students, you can find Kristen on a yoga mat, at the beach, on the dance floor, in the kitchen cooking a vegetarian feast, or hanging out with her friends and her fabulous dog, Roscoe.
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2 Responses to So Many Top Dogs…

  1. Paul says:

    love the new post, Kristen!

  2. Andrew says:

    I nominate Kristen for Top Dog!