Spotlight: Vicki Smith (Ms. Vicki)
Small Group Activity Leader

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Ever wonder where the funds from the Crocker PTA go? This our first in the series of interviews and articles to get to know PTA funded programs better. This year Crocker has 458 kids in the school with an average class sizes ranging from 24-30 kids in each classroom. Small Group Facilitators are hired by the PTA to support the teachers across our classrooms based on needs and requests.

Interview with Vicki Smith – Small Group Facilitator

This is her 6th year working as a Small Group Facilitator at Crocker. She now works 12 hours/week (2 days) in order to be available to substitute teach within the OUSD school district the other three days (at the urging of Joci and teachers). She has a BA in Urban Studies from SFSU and an MA in Counseling Psychology from USF.

The initial reason she was interested in this role is that as a parent of two students who attended Crocker Highlands from 2003-2010, she felt there were some gaps in services to students. At that time there were no PTA employees, just volunteer parent helpers. Two areas where she saw a need for support were were for children who needed academic help, counseling or social coaching for students. When Beth Rhine (prior principal) called with a job offer, she jumped at the chance to help in both these areas.

She loves the fact that there is no “average” day in her job. She works in various classrooms, with different teachers and students each year. So while she has a set schedule of where to be, there is something different to look forward to every day.  The range includes working with a student on developing their writing; helping with a science investigation; teaching a math concept to a small group; reading aloud and discussing a story; and role-playing possible conflict resolutions at recess. For her, it’s really the relationships with the kids and the teachers that she enjoys the most.  Her “first” class promoted last year, and she felt such pride and joy at their accomplishment, knowing that she had been a part of their learning community at Crocker.  The teachers value the Small Group Activity Leaders’ help in the classroom greatly, and when they are able to draw out details in writing, listen to a student explain a new scientific concept in their own words, or watch kids work out social dilemmas on the yard by themselves, she sees the impact they have had.  That feels really good.

To keep these wonderful programs running, please donate to the PTA through Annual Giving.  Any amount helps!