Last week I returned to Webster Elementary for the first time on 2016-17, and I had a great time meeting the 4th grade for the first time and catching up with the 5th grade.
First, I handed out the materials that the kids will need for the year: a STAR folder, a name card and a pencil. After I handed out all the materials, I talked about my life before becoming a deputy.
I grew up in Riverside, CA, and I moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA. I enjoyed my time there, and decided to stay in LA after I graduated. I have been a football season ticket holder since I got out of school, and my favorite fall activity is getting out to the games.
Then I told the kids about how I became a Deputy Sheriff and about the different jobs I have had during my time on the LASD. First, I explained to the kids how long the process is to get hired as a peace officer (cop), and then I told about all the things we are taught in the academy. Once I graduated from the academy, my first assignment was working as a guard in the jail, then I worked as a bailiff in a court house before going out on patrol.
After I mentioned the jail, they had a lot of questions. Working in the jail may sound like a dirty or dangerous job, but (at least during the time I was there) it was more like baby-sitting than anything else. I answered all their questions and emphasized that its not a great place to live, and then I told them about my time in the courts and on patrol. I also told the kids about my time playing football with the LA Heat and about the LASD’s new team, the LA Grizzlies (in a national football league for cops and firefighters).
The kids always ask a bunch of great questions, and we always run out of time. I try to get through as many questions as I can because the next time I visit the talk will be focused more on them as we get into the STAR lessons.
My time with the 5th graders had a similar structure. Instead of introducing myself for the first time, I asked the kids about the various types of peace officers they see in the community (city police, LASD, CHP, etc), and I explained how they are different. The 5th graders also overflowed with questions after a long summer, so that took up the rest of our remaining time. I had a chance to see the great Mrs. Verham, but Mrs. London ditched me this time and I hope to see her on my next visit (so I can tell her how much the Pats stink!!!).
I can’t wait to return to Webster; its a great place to teach!