I am honestly struggling to contain my joy today. In the world of RIMS AVID our guest today truly needs no introduction. Her official title is Program Coordinator for RIMS AVID, but to our team Tina is so much more than that. She's one of our leaders. She's an awesome AVID coach, and the reason that we all laugh all day long when we're in the office together.
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Kelli, Stephanie, Tina
When I was at Montclair, my kids knew that if you were not flying right, I would happily come and find you. And I went into a classroom. And it it was the first time it had happened, but I opened the door and when I walked in, I heard because I like there were like 10 AVID kids in there and they're like someone is in big trouble because she's here. Hey AVID family this is Stephanie Downey and I'm Kelly Hogan-Flowers from RIMS AVID and you're listening to the RIMS, AVID Roundtable, the podcast where we discuss all things AVID. Twice each month on this podcast, we'll get together with a special guest to talk about their AVID journey. They'll tell their story and explain what makes them an AVID Rockstar. They'll share their ideas, best practices and strategies that they've learned along the way.
I am honestly struggling to contain my joy today. In the world of RIMS AVID our guest today truly needs no introduction. Her official title is program coordinator for RIMS AVID, but to our team. Tina is so much more than that. She's one of our leaders. She's an awesome AVID coach, and the reason that we all laugh all day long when we're in the office together. Before coming to RIMS AVID 2011. Tina had already made quite the name for herself in the AVID world. She was the coordinator at Montclair High School. And under her leadership, they became an AVID national demonstration school in 2008. I'm going to try to rein my emotions in today, because it's definitely a full circle moment for me. The very first AVID class I ever saw was her class at Montclair high. My love affair with AVID started with Tina and her students. If you know, you know. So, sit back, relax and get ready. Because it's always a good time when Tina is in the house. We can't wait to hear what she's bringing to the table. Welcome to one of my favorite people in the world. Tina Barhorst. Welcome, Tina.
Hi, Tina. Thank you so much for pinning me down today.
Knew we'd get you eventually Tina is a reluctant guest. But she's still going to do it because she loves AVID
see her face.
Yes, thank goodness, it's not camera. All right. So Tina. Try to control your excitement. We start as always with our icebreaker question. So, Tina, where did you go to school? And what do you have in common with your college mascot?
I went to California State University San Bernardino, go Yotes. I thought about this one. What do I have in common with a coyote? I wanted to think I think they're a bit of a stalker. I think coyote is a bit of a stalker.
It's a new one for coyote. We've heard
Yeah, it's good.
And I don't know, I think that my former students would argue I was a bit of a stalker. So I think what I have in common with the mascot is that I am dogged about trying to chase down what I'm looking for. If I'm trying to get a kid to go to college, I just keep chasing and chasing and chasing. I don't give up. So
you're kind of relentless.
It's my jam. We've had a lot of coyotes on out podcast
We have this is like coyoteville it is
We should let Dr. Monica Alejandra know all the coyotes all the coyotes are on our podcast.
Maybe she'll be next.
Alright, so tell us your history with AVID. Share how it started and how it's going.
My history with AVID um, I was a second- or third-year teacher at Montclair High School. And someone put a flyer in my mailbox that said go to this AVID something. And I had missed some days. Because I had to go to Ohio for a family funeral. And I was really hesitant to miss school. And so I went to a counselor friend that I had and I said what is this? Why did this get put in my mailbox? And she said, oh, you should definitely go because you already do this with all your kids. So I had no idea what AVID was, I really had no clue. So I went to San Diego for an AVID awareness. And that was it. The first day was all data, data data data Rob Jurah was just giving us all these incredible like, the numbers were amazing. I couldn't I was like this is not a real thing. And then the second day we went to a school and the kids looked just like the student population in Montclair. There were a lot of Hispanic Latino kids. But when we spoke to them, they were able to articulate things that I was wanting for my kids, but I didn't hear at my school. So, one of the kids was telling me, I'm in this AP and this AP and this AP and I'm doing an independent study AP and this and I'm like what's happening? And I was already sold I had about I don't know if anyone in the audience knows my note taking prowess, I had about 35 pages worth of notes about the data that I was going to go back to my school. And so my principal on and listening to the kids, it was like, this is a no brainer, why don't we have this? So, I went back to my school. I practiced my coyote stocking, sitting in my principal's office for I don't know, three or four days during my prep period, I just kept waiting. Is she here? Is she here, she coming back she on campus, or she's gonna be here? And when she finally came back, I said, oh, my gosh, Judy, we need this so much. And she said, great, go ahead, you could start it. That was how I was selected as the AVID coordinator for high school, it was a very thorough process. So how it's going, I think that I built the ideal job at a high school. I taught AVID all day long. I loved the kids, I had a great team that I had selected. They did incredible work, they're still doing more incredible things at Montclair than I could ever have imagined when I was there. And it gave me the opportunity to come to RIMS AVID, and it's the opportunity to impact kids on an exponential number. So, at a high school, you impact the 600 kids, you have an AVID plus, let's just say, another 500 kids that those kids know. But in this job, you get to train, I don't know, hundreds of teachers every year. And if every one of those teachers go back goes back to their classroom, and they impact hundreds of kids than the impact of AVID is ever growing. So for me, that was the big like decision to make the leap to RIMS AVID was that opportunity to impact more. So I've liked this job a lot. I have a great time going out and coaching my schools. I think I have really good relationships with my schools. But I tried to have great relationships with everyone in our region. I hope that people feel valued by me, I try to remember their names, I try to remember the stuff we've talked about their kids their house or whatever.
I think you're very good at that. The names. She's amazing with the names, but I think everyone knows who you are, too, because you have that presence. And because you do remember their names. Like I think I was shocked that you knew who I was. And that was from you know, I don't remember what interaction was, even though I've been around for a while, but because I don't that's just how you are. I think it works for people. I wish I had that name recognition, I could not have that
It's a freakish skill
it is you're really when you say you're like that name sounds familiar. And you don't know that I'm always like 30 minutes. Yeah. Did you do so?
How do you do that? Yeah, no, no, it's
very, it's a very good, personable skill. And it's a sincere one. Like, I feel like it's not like a trick to get to think you care. No, like you really do. And it's part of just the package of Tina.
Oh, the package of Tina.
I don't know if that's a package people want. Let's not get crazy okay.
Tina, tell us a little bit more about how you built your program when you were first starting to kind of fast forwarded.
Okay, well, I started AVID at Montclair, I had two sections. The children that I had in my AVID class were those that were given to me. Many of us have had that experience where that first year you get kids that here, these are the children. And I was working with another colleague I had in my department. So we had two sections of AVID. The kids were placed there. And it was just sort of an exercise in oh, wow, what are we doing today? Oh, wow, what are we doing today, every day felt that way, every single day. And so that first year, I remember thinking, oh, these are not going to stay what's going to happen next year? Where will I go? And at the end of the year, when I asked the kids, they said, oh, I don't want to go to another class Miss B I'm gonna stay here and I was like, Okay, well, why? And they were like, oh, no, because you will do everything for us. You'll like, you know, you'll chase down stuff. You'll help us get the right classes. And you talk about stuff we don't hear in any, any other classes. So, those two sections we doubled the next year. The colleague I was working with left and then I added the good doctor, Dr. Mora, Dr. Sergio Mora, to my best good friend and so Sergio was this very sort of standoffish, maybe a little, a little stiff math guy. But I was like, this guy likes the kids fine. I'll teach with him. And by happenstance, the teacher I was working with, she moved and got a job at Santa Fe Springs. They had a big AVID program there, and she moved there. Just as a mere coincidence, we picked up a teacher from Santa Fe Springs. And my principal said, you could have her and I was like, I don't want her I don't even know this is. And so, I picked up a teacher named Christina Martinez, who now is the principal at Chaffey High School in the Chafee district. So, Christina, and Sergio and I, and then there was another person, Monica Valdez, she was the four of us we just spent three or four years together, just building something that was solid. And I'll never forget, we were just growing by leaps and bounds. And Christina said, we cannot just keep growing our curriculums all over the place. And I was like, oh, why are you with the details all the time. And so we spent a week that summer, and we built the big rocks of the curriculum for each grade level, because our teachers now have the benefit of a WAG that right is so developed, and you can pick what you want to do from the 92 million things that are on there. We were reinventing the wheel all the time. So, we spent a whole summer building curriculum that was really good. The next year, we just were really solid in our footing. We all believed the same way about kids. We loved the kids in all of our own ways, but we loved the kids and we pushed on and they did good stuff on our campus. So, we just kept growing and growing. We were cultivating relationships at the middle school feeders that we had, they didn't have AVID 2022 they're all demo schools, Vernon, Oaks, and Serrano in the Ontario, Montclair School District. So, we were just cultivating relationships there. And so, we just kept growing and growing. And then in 2007, 2006 maybe, Mama Vivian Shaw came to me during certification. She said, oh, I think you should apply for demo. And I said, who are you talking to?
I said, Wait, what now? And she said, No, you guys are doing such great work here. And she sing our praises. And for anyone that knows mama Viv, you know that when Mama Viv's, your coach, you're spending all your time trying to just impress Viv, like, let's Wow, Viv. So we worked hard to, you know, build an AVID program that was going to impact kids and have staying power on our campus. And so we applied for demo. And then I worked like, I don't know, 60–70-hour weeks for the whole year. As we went towards the demo visit. My team was there they work they did, you know, just as many things as I did, but I just felt like I had to be there all the time. And then we became a demo school and, and then a few years later, I think it might have been the year of Re-eval for them. I left and came here. I said, well, so I'm all done. I'm leaving. I don't think that my team, we had been discussing that for a while. So it wasn't a surprise that I could potentially go somewhere else. And then I left, and they have been Kelly coach them. You're coaching them now, Stephanie, they have I look shabby in comparison to what they're doing. I mean, the stuff that they're doing now is like, so incredible. And so forward thinking and so ambitious. And every time I go I'm so I'm like wow, like, You guys are amazing. And I always tell them, all I have to do is take care of the baby. That's it. Just keep the baby going. That's all my baby needs to be taken care of. And so, then I came here. When I started this gig, Polina and I basically just had like a 50-50 split of the schools. We went through a lot of changes, like right after I started here. So it was just me and Paulina, we were trying to hire some, some TOSA's or some consultants, and we, so we had retired coaches, and then Pauline. And I had like, you know, 50 and 50, or 75 and 75. And we just figured it out. And Pauline is amazing. So, my way she makes it easy, you know? So, I think now have I covered it all for you?
I think so. Thank you.
Is there any other questions? Can I leave?
We have lots of questions
I feel like that's the great thing about starting your program, seeing someone else take it and like run with it and like build on what you build because there's always gonna be that like foundation. You know, with starting a school and wanting all the best things I started last year in school too, but I'm starting to program and wanting all the best things for and then having someone else, even though it's your like thing, just watching someone else run with it and do really well with it. It's, I'm sure that's a lot of fun for you.
Yeah. When I started AVID at Montclair, I remember talking to, because I taught world history. So in world history, I would tell the kids, okay, I'm giving you an assignment, please do all the assignments. And the kids were like, oh, and I was like, Look, I need you to do the assignments, because I believe that all the children in this class are going to college. And when you don't do the work, and you get a poor grade, then that ruins my bubble. And I don't need that. And the kids were like, What is wrong with her. And I remember right around the time that I was starting AVID, I had this kid Art in my history class. And he was he was great for me. But he was not great everywhere else. And I remember saying Art, you're doing great in here and here, you could go to college. And he looked me straight in the face and said, Miss B, I can't go to college. And I said, why? And he said, Because I'm brown. And I was like, that isn't a reason like that. And who told you that? I was ready to fight right there. And so you just figure out really quickly, like, there are all these kids who are walking around thinking, I can't go to college, I don't have money. My parents don't know anything. And that was the whole community of Montclair, like they all felt that way. We had this little tiny group of our honors, like our really high end kids, that were all doing all the AP's and they were so smart. And they were going great places we kids going to Cornell, but it was like 20 kids. Right? So how do you? How do you sleep at night when you know you have all these other kids that we could be getting in lots of other places? So yep.
So I was and I actually was going to ask, how did you prepare your team? For you to leave?
Who? Well, because you asked them, they might say I didn't.
But clearly you did. Because they've taken it? And you know, sprinted and there was no dip? No, you know, it's not like AVID fell off for a minute when you left. No. And so how did you keep it from being Tina's AVID?
Um, I would say probably right after the demo validation. I started really feeling like, huh, everyone is looking at Tina for a lot of ideas, and I could not. That's not something you can sustain. Like, I was very passionate. And I and obviously, I'm still very passionate about helping kids go to college. But it felt like we have a lot of new young folks on our campus that have great ideas and why no one no one wants to hear from me. I'm I'm 10-12 years into my teaching career. And I was like the old timer it felt. So right after the demo, I just kind of I sat down, and I made like a long list of all the jobs that I did. And you know, Stephanie mentioned when you start a program, you grow with it. So, the first year you're doing 10 things. And then the second year you're doing that 10 was another 10. Now it's 20. The third year, it's 30. Well, when you're eight years, nine years in, that's 80 things right? You've created 80 new jobs for yourself that you're just doing, and you're running, and you're doing all these things. And so I put everything on a list. And then we had a team meeting and I said, here's the list, everyone needs to select three things that you are going to take the reins of. And I think the one thing that I always hear from people is, but then what if they don't do it? But guess what, they didn't do it and no one died. You know, they're like, We did. We did grade level awards, we did grading period awards. So, at the quarter, we did something at the semester, we did something we tried to mark our progress reports. And I remember the first year when I handed off that job to someone else. The quarter was over. And the kids had gotten nothing. And we were like five weeks into the second quarter. And my kids are like, um, I had this GPA and I got nothing. And I was like, oh, rude. I said, That's rude. I don't understand. So, I said, you need to go talk to so. And so, I sent a few kids over. And then I said, So what are we going to do? And then I forced them to come up with an idea. And for the most part, I think people took the reins of those things. And you know, when you're still there, they're hesitant to make changes. Yeah, I literally wasn't out the door. 30 seconds and they were changing stuff. I didn't want to change. I was like, I'm not changing. That's not gonna happen. I was like, just tucking in here. It's like, I've been here like three days and they're like, we're changing this. I'm like rude.
I haven't even got business cards yet.
I'm in a cubicle doing whatever. So, I think that's the advantage. You know, you get to watch them grow. And they're incredible. They're doing such cool stuff. Like I tell people all the time, the stuff that they're doing,
I can't wait to go on their campus. I didn't get a chance to see him this year.
It's amazing. It is. I'm a little biased, because, you know, like I said, that was my very first exposure to AVID. And, you know, just thinking about you adding on exponentially to your duties. You know, I'm sure you weren't prepared for the day I came to observe. And then Tina made the mistake of saying, here's my number, you can call anytime you need, which to me, I heard, call me every day and check in, and I will talk you through. And so, every afternoon, I would call and say, Okay, I did this today, what do you think? And she always took my calls. And now as a coach, I'm thinking, how did she take my calls every time, but always it was like, Okay, I did this today. What do you think? And she's like, Okay, well, that was wrong. But here's how you're gonna fix it. And so, I would go back the next day and fix it. And so, you know, it's always I talk often about how generous you are with your time and your expertise. Because there are a lot of us that start out a little wobbly legged, like those like, like Bambi. And until we get our until we got our footing, you know, we need to have somebody help us out. So, thank you for being the one that helped me get my footing.
I don't feel so bad now that I text you like, three to four or five times a week sometimes with questions.
You don't need to do this. But again, it's it's exponential impact, right? Because just because I'm doing AVID at Montclair, if Upland starts AVID, then there's more kids that are getting to go to college and a community that needs it. And then the same thing is true with the middle schools, like when I started AVID at Montclair, Vernon and Serrano didn't even have AVID, they had no AVID. So I was like winging it all the time. We were going down there like, oh, could, we talked to some kids. We really worked at the high school for real, like, they didn't know us. And because Chaffe is a high school district, and they're that the Raider district, they don't know who you are. And so you're making weird like, Oh, can I can I talk to this person, I don't even know if they know anything. And they don't know AVID, so then you get all the filtering. But for me, it's all about like, the more kids that we impact. I mean, I think most of us have seen that data that Tommy shared, like, what is San Bernardino and Riverside County on the percent of college degrees were so low, and if we don't try to improve that, like, ultimately, our community is going to suffer.
And that's the beauty of AVID it really is that endless ripple where it starts with one person, but then it's like, Okay, let me reach out and help. And then it just goes from there. So, love that. Tina, what advice would you I know, if you could see her face? Question, what advice would you give to a first-year AVID teacher?
Um, the very first thing I would say is talk to your coach, talk to your AVID coach, talk to them, text them, call them, email them. No question is too big or too small. My first year as an AVID elective teacher, I had a kind of a litany of coaches that RIMS AVID. So, I had someone who was here for like two years while I was doing AVID, and I very rarely saw them the first those first two years. And then and then I got mama Viv and she don't play she does. She She don't mess around. So, you're like you better get it together, folks. We cannot be showing poorly when VIBs here. So, you know, I think when you're a first year teacher, you don't know all the things you don't know. And then you get confused or you forget or you miss something. And you need to ask for help. You need to have someone that you can go to a lot of our districts have district monthly district meetings or quarterly district meetings to find a person in your district that is good that you can also use as a resource. I would say go to NEATO go to the new elective AVID teacher orientation for those of you who didn't understand what NEATO was, that's the acronym.
It's already made that joke.
Stephanie is going to need to work on new material. I'm just saying Michael. NEATO's important because you get to kind of swim in the pool with other new swimmers, right? You're not like oh, you go to a coordinator workshop it can feel very overwhelming because some of those people are really experienced. And they know all the things and you're like, oh my goodness look so and so's here. But when you're in NEATO, everyone is new. If you're a new coordinator, go to new coordinator let us answer your questions. We've built those supports to help you. And the other thing is love the kids like that's the biggest thing if you love the kids, even if it stinks, even if like you are Tina, your first year like you, you quit Cornell notes because you hate them, and the kids hate them. If you I think I did one Socratic seminar my first year, I graded binders twice, once in the fall once in the spring I was killing it, like I had no idea what I was doing. But if you love the kids, if you stay on the kids about their grades, like the things that are the most important, all the other things will come together. So use the resources you have and then love the kids. You can't be an AVID teacher and not like children. No, it's impossible doesn't work.
And I think that's when you're talking about being a coyote and chasing people down. I feel like that's such an AVID coordinator trait is that the successful AVID coordinators are the ones who do that, that they're going after the kids making sure they're doing their stuff, but they're also going after their admin if they need something or they're willing to fight for things for their program. And for the kids. And I think that's a big such a big AVID teacher trait.
When I was at Montclair, my kids knew that if you were not flying, right, I would happily come and find you. And I went into a classroom. And it was the first time it had happened. But I opened the door and when I walked in, I heard because I like there were like 10 AVID kids in there, like someone is in big trouble cuz she's here. But you're right. Like if you if you don't chase kids, because kids just fall wonky, right? Like, I have a kid that she has a college degree now. But when she was a freshman, she was a great kid. I'd had her uncle's who were only a few years older than her because her family had that big expanse of kids. And she was doing good in the beginning. And then she just kind of started disappearing on me. And I was like, Where? Where is she? And the kids were like, I don't know, anything must be I don't know. It's always the go to. And I said, Look, we're all in this boat together. So she's sinking. We're all about to drown. You guys better figured out. So, they ratted her out. They told me where she was. So, I went and found her. So, she had gotten tangled up some kids, she was smoking pot, and she was just, she was just down the path. And I was like, this is not gonna fly. And she was like, But Miss B, I said, Look, this is not gonna fly. You're a smart girl, and I'm not gonna let it happen. So, I started escorting her to class. I think she loved it. I think every minute of it was. So, I escorted her to class. I mean, I just made sure she was where she was supposed to be. And the whole time I kept just okay, all year long. The next year, the next year, fast forward senior year, she graduates she gets into college, she goes away to college, she did some cool internship in Africa right after she graduated. And these are kids that like you, these are not things like you would place in Montclair, right? Not like Montclair traveled to Africa. No, they don't fit together. But the kids, you know, because they have somebody really chasing, they get to do those things that are cool and amazing. And she does a good job. She's doing good stuff now so
Opens up a whole new world for them.
I think having someone on your in your corner. It's such a big thing for the kids to where they saw the push back against it a little bit, oh leave me alone but then they come to expect it though, too. And then they really do appreciate when they're graduating. They're like, man, you stayed on me the whole time, you know?
And it lets them know that you that you care about them that they matter because it's easy to say, well, you know what, she's gone off the just off the path. So we're done with her. But the fact that you just stayed on her. She can never imagine you know, she can't even think well maybe Miss B didn't really care clearly must be cared because she was on you the entire time.
So let's talk about your favorite AVID memory or your best AVID experience or your greatest AVID success story.
Choose your adventure. My greatest AVID success, getting a demo hands down. Yeah. It's a big one. Let's see. Favorite AVID memory. I had these twins. The Sanchez brothers and for whatever reason, I had a hard time telling them apart. So, I taught juniors, Sergio taught seniors. So senior year, Bruce and Steven decide, You know what, let's go to the opposite classes. I'll go to yours. You go to mine, they think they're so clever. Well, they've played soccer for four years for Sergio. There's not going to fool Sergio they weren't going to fool him anyways, but they're not going to fool him. So they show up to his class. And he calls me, he says, hey, the Sanchez boys, they think that they're funny. And I said, oh, they do. He said, but I think that, you know, we're funnier. And I said, oh, I bet we are. I said, okay, let me see what I can find out. So, I call the office, I tried to get my principal to come down, because I think this is the only way we're going to really sell some consequence to this is if I can get the big dog. But my principal was gone. So, I call the counseling office, Christina Martinez has now moved on to the counseling office, I say, C Mart, you gotta come down here. I said, the Sanchez boys, they think they're funny. And she's like, okay, she's always in it for a good, you know, good joke. So, we get them down there. And we pull them out of class. And we're giving them the reprimand you guys, do you think you can do this? This this, you've ruined all your senior activities. Oh, we've already talked to you know, Mr. Hook, he's already said, we're gonna have to transfer one of you to another school and one of you to a different school. I mean, we were laying it on. So, you know, we're just, we're clobbering them. And it's really challenging to like, keep the straight face because you can just see that they're like, wait, what's happening? This was like a simple little tiny prank. This was a life of we didn't committed crime. And so, you know, we kind of have him on the hook. And I can see the one is like tearing up. And I finally I lean in, and I honk their noses and I'm like, don't mess with me ever again fools. Miss B. And they were so mad. And I was like, I was like, what happened? I said, did you prank go wrong? And they were like, that was so mean, you guys are so mean. It's been years, those kids graduated like 10-12 years ago. And they're like, I still remember that you did that to us. It was a team effort. And so that was like probably my funniest memory with AVID. My best AVID experience
Is that what it is Tina working with us every day? Oh my god, how did you guess?
me think I'm
Dave? It's really you, Dave. Okay, producer, producer, really? Who is the king. Um, I have a lot of great memories. My my AVID kids even now I have a lot of great. I mean, I have a lot of kids that are teachers and doing other things like professionally now that I'm it's really impressive. I think anytime a kid figures out that you're not just writing them, just because you're mean, like, I think a lot of times, I would have kids start with me freshman year, and they would say, Oh, I'd like to get out of this class. And I'd say well, why? Oh, cuz everyone says you're really mean. And I'm like, really? And I would say to them like, well, if you do your things, right, like, if you do your job, then I'm going to be so nice. You're going to love being here with me, because I'm fun. I said, but if you don't do your things, then it won't be fun. We won't enjoy each other at all. And you know, I always held true that it wasn't if you were doing your stuff like really like I'm all good. Like how can I do whatever you need. But if you weren't doing your stuff and it was a whole nother game? I don't know I have. I have one whole family of kids that they've all been AVID kids. And the last two I didn't have but the first two I did have so the Hernandez-Cruz family I had Jose as a junior and then Sergio taught the seniors I'm not a good senior teacher, because while it's not widely believed, I'm highly emotional and overly connected to the children and then I cry like a big baby. So, I stopped teaching seniors after the first year I couldn't even present awards to seniors because I was like, honestly, you need to hold it together. I'm like, I can't do it. So, I had Jose when he was a senior he came to me and said, Miss B, I have whittled down my college choices to Cal Poly Pomona, or UC Merced. And over the course of the time that I had known him, he kept telling me how incredibly bright his little sisters were, he had these two little sisters that must be they scored perfect on the state testing and I know they're going to do this and they're gonna do that. So he comes to me with these two college choices. And I just have to tell him like Dude, I'm gonna sweep your leg. If you go to Cal Poly Pomona, I will sweep your leg. Now that is not against Cal Poly Pomona. It's a fabulous school, there's nothing. There's it's a great educational institution. But because he was the oldest, if he didn't go away away, the other ones would never look. So he decided to go to UC Merced. He was probably, I want to say he's this, the second or third graduating with a must have been really, really early for that school. So, he went to Merced. He did great. He's an engineer. He works for someone and he's always traveling. I think he works for Zacky farms or something. And so he does engineering but he goes to various places because he's always traveling for work. And then the brother who was a year younger Omar, Omar graduated he went to UC Santa Cruz. And so the the third kid Yasinya I was at Montclair when you said you came as a ninth grader. So obviously she was an AVID because the babies are our babies. And so, but then I left. So Yasinya went through AVID at Montclair Vanessa is the last one you send you graduated and went to Berkeley as a pre-med major. She did an internship in Paris. I don't know maybe three or four years ago because she's graduated now. And then Vanessa, the last one, Vanessa graduated from Montclair, she's an AVID kid. She got a Chromebook to the Barhorst consortium of Chrome. Donations, Vanessa got a Chromebook. Vanessa went to Berkeley also. And she majored in something like nuclear something physics or something, something really like, nothing that I could understand. Nothing that I would ever get. And she, and she graduated from Berkeley. So now they're all college grads, they've all gone away. And these are kids, their parents manage the Del Taco. These are kids whose parents are just on the hustle. Yeah. And it wasn't I mean, the mom and dad, were doing tons of work, keeping those kids on track and making sure they were good kids. But once they were an AVID, it was like we weren't going to let them go. So knowing like you have a whole family where you impact like that, yeah. And those four will have their own kids and their kids will go to college, because those four went to college, they won't be afraid to go places, because why they're there. Their aunts and uncles had been all over the place. They've done all kinds of stuff. So, I think, for me, those are the successes that you're like, This is why you did it, you know?
Yeah, it is. And it's nice to have those reminders of, oh, yeah, this is, this is my why. And a lot of the times with, when you're working in AVID, there's so much going on, and you're going a million miles an hour. And it's not that you forget, but it's just, there's so much to do. And then there are these little moments where it's just, it's like, okay, I can see all my hard work, I can see what happened, and what's happening as a result. And just thinking about the fact like you said that because those four went to college, you know, their cousins, I'm sure went to college, their kids are gonna go to college. And it's not going to be if I go to college, it's not even going to be if I go away to college, it's going to be when I go away to college. And so really opening up a whole world for them. So, you mentioned the Barhorst, Chromebook Consortium.
I didn't know what else to call it
When people are always asking, you know, how do I give back to my school? Or how do I help with education? oh teachers are doing so much work? What can I do? So, tell us about the your consortium,
This question is not on the paper.
It's not it wasn't on the list, but you brought it up and I want you to, I want you to share it.
Um, I'm committed to Montclair, so I really wanted to give back there. So a few years ago, I would say, maybe six years ago, my wife and I decided we would do some sort of scholarship, but we had a lot of conversation about what does that look like? We're not some sort of, you know, wealthy nonprofity whatever, that I can keep track of all this. And I was really hesitant to just give kids cash, right? Because I was a senior who got cash, I got scholarships, and they said, here's the cheque and I was like, sweet, I'm gonna buy this and then for about a stereo for those of you who are not familiar shoes, yeah. So, I was hesitant to just give cash. So, we had lots of conversation and the thing we settled on was donating Chromebooks and then having a few seniors selected to get Chromebooks. So the first year I think, I think Kelly and I donated six, I think, and we did it on our own. We just bought them ourselves. And that was what we did. And then I was talking in the office with Tommy Stokes about it. And you know, he, he can't just stay in his lane and never do something. So, then he decides he's going to do it. So, but then he says to me, I'm going to open it up to my grads. And I was like, well, that is brilliant. Because I could never afford to like fund as many as I would want to fund. So, I think, not last year because the pandemic crushed us the two years. But the year before the pandemic, I think we gave 18 Chromebooks. So, what I ended up doing was I posted it to my social media, I asked my grads, and my friends, obviously, my friends know that I'm very passionate about AVID. I asked the my grads and friends, hey, if you're generous, and you're interested, donate what you want to donate, send it to me, and I'll buy as many Chromebooks as I get money for. So the year before the pandemic happened, I think we did 18. So, this year, I decided, I'm going to do it again. We've been back in school full time, I'm ready to do it again. I figured I can do whatever I you know, I can do six again, if I need to do six, but let's see what I get. So, I put it out on my social media. And the response was overwhelming, like, people that I had worked with people who had taught at Montclair who are gone, people who had worked in classified positions at Montclair, they donated, my former students donated, I mean, anywhere from $20 to hundreds of dollars. So, at one point, I finally shared that I was at, I think I was at 21, or 22 Chromebooks, and I said, it would be great if it gets 25. I said, Well, let's get to 25. And the very next day, I woke up to a zele payment from Bertha Licia curial, at CSU Chico, who we worked with for a long time. And she Zeald me a big chunk of money for a couple computers. And so that put me to 25. But then I still had people who were like, Well, are you still doing it? Can I still send you money? So, this Friday, I'm gonna give out 28 Chromebooks exam, so it'd be cool. So, I let the coordinators pick. They know the kids, I don't really have the extra time to pick right to sift through. So they made it part of their scholarship application they used on site and on Friday, my family and I will go Benjamin is very excited to hand out the computers. Oh, probably last like three computers, but he's gonna do it. He's gonna try. So, 28
So Benjamin is a an incredibly bright Kindergarteners. yes.
For at least six more days. Seven more days. Yeah, no.
Okay, so sorry that I strayed from the list. Let's go back to the paper. We'll get back to the show in a good bit. And this is an important one anyway. Yes. So, we always like to share some best practices or some strategies. So, from, from the view of Tina Barhorst, tell us what are some best practices, or some strategies, some things that you tried? Some things that you've seen during your vast coaching experience? Just hit us with the good stuff?
The good stuff, all right. Well, I think, because we've pushed the school wide thing, you know, as we've moved away from like, these silo AVID programs to pushing school wide, I think the recognition for staff for using WICOR is the thing that I have seen the most bang for my buck. So Murrita Mesa has done an incredible job of using WICOR stars, we've had them present multiple times. I know we have lots of other schools that have picked that stuff up that site in particular, because their admin was so bought in, and so invested when they're out on campus, handing out stars to teachers for doing writing, or whatever the letter of the month is. It created such a sensation for them like it really, the momentum was insane. So teachers were calling their principal and saying, Steve, I told you that I was doing this writing activity today, and then you didn't come. And I want my star. Like, they were very serious about it. And when they're doing good teaching, like who doesn't want that, as an administrator who doesn't want you to call and say, Hey, I'm doing something awesome come down and see it, right? Because administrators are only seeing, you know, one minute of your class and 55 minutes of discipline, you know, a lot of times it feels like, so I think that's one of the best practices that I've seen out in our region. I think we have a lot of people who do really great PD with their staff built into their staff development, their staff time him during this month, whatever that looks like whether it's 10 minutes or 15 minutes, I think you got to get on that P D. Planning Team, you have to be part of that you have to be part of the noise. Because I know that all of us in this room have sat through a meeting that might have been better served as an email. But, you know, you have a chance at a staff meeting to make it purposeful, right? So make it purposeful and share something easy that they could buy into that they could use in their classroom that day. And we've heard that lots of times as coaches, we've heard that from our schools. The other thing, I think, is the schools where the best practice is, we all have sort of this conglomerate approach to supporting a kid. You know, we have some middle schools that do it. We have a couple of high schools that do it that I'm aware of. And I'm sure there's others out there, but the team meets to talk about the kids. And then the conversation isn't just well, Tina says that Dave isn't doing his job. It's more about okay, what's Dave doing for you, Kelly? Is Dave working in your class? Stephanie, can we move here? I was. I just did Temecula certification and Temecula Valley High School, they meet as a team, every kid that's an intervention, every kid that is got a bump, they meet as a team and discuss those kids and have a plan to make sure that maybe they're in my class, but they don't really like me. It's possible, it happens. But maybe they had, you know, maybe they had Stephanie last year and they really liked her and they want to check in with that person. So it creates that love that family that we're so desperately trying to manufacture for them, it creates those check in points. And it ties right back to that AVID elementary model of making sure kids have someone who their kids are checking in with whether it's at home or it's at school. So, and I think, you know, the AVID strategies are just good teaching strategies. So, there aren't any that are better than others. But there are some that are more well received. You know, putting philosophical chairs out there is easy, it's easy for a teacher to do that. And if you can get them to do one you can get them to do two.
So, you know, we love sentence starters in AVID. So, because of AVID, this is the sentence or finish and I went backwards there. Finish the sentence because of AVID.
I'm sorry, is this an SAT question? Because of AVID, um I don't know we have. I have my dream job.
I think my very first coordinator workshop was at RCOE. And I remember sitting at the table, you guys, you guys are infants in the coordinator realm, but totally in 2000.
High school yet in case anyone was wondering.
Stephanie no one likes you. My first coordinator workshop at our RCOE I showed up deer in the headlights. I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm an infant, I'm, I don't know. I'm like mid 20s. I'm like, Oh, look at me. And I remember out on the tables, they had this it was a job. It was a position or RIMS AVID position was flying. And it was like, RIMS, AVID and all these things. And it had like a salary on it. And I was like, man, look at that. There's like a whole nother world after this. You're not just gonna teach AVID, you could do this too. And I remember thinking, Oh, that'll never be me. And thinking, I'm just gonna sit over here and do my coordinator gig. And I remember building that the ideal job I was teaching AVID all day long. I had a team I was like, I love like we did lots of I mean, we did Christmas together. We were always celebrating birthdays, we did all kinds of stuff. We loved each other. We had such a great relationship. So because of AVID, I have the job that I always wanted, So.
and I have Kelly and Stephanie and I also have Dave
You know, I just made me think of I love that idea of the first meeting and the deer in the headlights. It's something that I should have shared when we were when we did our episode. But my first coordinator workshop, I go and it's my It's Cheryl Johnson, my co coordinator and I am we're brand new, brand brand new. And we there's nobody to sit with because we don't know anybody. And so we go and sit there's an empty table at the front and we go sit at the front.
And because everybody else was all you know, so excited to see it's like oh said, here’s here, we were like, oh, we're new and no one knows us. And we sat there. And Michael Kelly came and said, we have a guest. Can she join you? And we said, yes. And this woman comes and sits down, and she's very nice. She's, Tina's screaming, because she knows this story. Sorry. And so, she's sitting there. And so we're making small talk. And so we turned to her and say, Oh, how long have you been with AVID? Oh, God. It was. So, she's been she's very, very sweet. She's like, oh, I've been doing it for a while. How about for you. This is our first day. And it's our first coordinator workshop. And she's like, oh, you're gonna be so great. And we said, well, if you have any ideas you can share. And she's like, I have a few things I could talk about.
I'm guessing I know who this is.
And then Michael calls I was like, um, we have a really special guest. Today we have the founder of AVID Mary Katherine Swanson. And we were like, Oh, she's here. And she gets up from our table and walks over. And it was like, Oh, my God,
Did you just leave? Did you leave the meeting?
Did we just ask the founder of AVID how long she's been doing AVID? Grea!. Yeah, just since the beginning. So that was
such a great,
that was my first coordinator workshop. humiliating? Absolutely.
Well, when you started to say that story, I was thinking, when we were lit, when we were much smaller in number of schools, we could meet at RCOE in the, the Hyatt rooms right there. And so, I was there for something. I don't know if it was a coordinator workshop, or if it was a counseling thing. Well, somehow, a lizard ends up in the room. And so I don't, I don't really enjoy very fast moving lizards. I don't like them. So, a lizard shows up. And I am me. And I think people have this misconception like that I cannot be there's no like chinks in my armor. And this lizard is on the floor. And it's like right next to my bag. So, I literally jump on the chair. I have like a toe I'm like, Oh, no. Someone get it. So I'm on the chair. I'm like panicked because I don't want the lizard to get in my bag. And I'm like, I just get a new bag, forget it I don't even need this bag. And some guy that was a coordinator back in the day, his name's Ian Conacher. Ian Conacher, picks the lizard up. So, then the lizard loses its tail. Oh, and now Ian is now like, you don't want it like messing with me. I'm like, Conacher very good away from you. So, he takes the lizard out sans the tail. Okay, but then someone else picks up the tail. And then they're harassing me. And I was like, I have to leave this meeting. I need to go home.
This is not the job for me.
You know, that's the greatest thing about RIMS AVID is that you get like, I have coordinator friends from everywhere. Like, I was just at staff developer training. And Michelle Hendrix was in my breakout room. She and I were in the same breakout room. Michelle and I started being AVID coordinators, like the same year.
She and I have both lived our lives being raised by mama Viv. And we understand. But I have all these incredible like friends and colleagues that I've worked for, through RIMS AVID. Without that RIMS AVID connection, that coordinator workshop that opportunity to come together. Like I don't know how I would have fared like on my own like, Okay, well, I'm I'm doing this today. You know. So
We've mentioned that before, to how much this side of it mirrors how it's for the kids. It has that family to connect with and they need each other that support and that's how they get through. And then it's the same thing for the coordinators, and the coaches even like we kind of it's that same AVID works across the, across the whole thing, right like that it works for the kids and the way it works for them and works for us. And it creates that unity and that bond because it's a very specific and special position. And I think a lot of people don't really understand all the stuff that goes into it, if you're not in it. And so I think having those connections just you have to have it.
Yep. It works across the board. It's not just for the kids.
It's the truth.
All right, Tina, I know that you are going to be very sad that we're also does question
So many more, if you want to know
No, you said I can highlight just a handful and then I could leave.
So, give our audience your best piece of advice. So, to be successful in AVID. What's the one thing give us the one thing
I think I would start with sign up for the podcast. I mean, that's the one thing to be successful in AVID, I would say. You have to have an unbending passion and love for kids in whatever place Hmm, they are in because they don't come all shiny friends, but those are the best kids their parents have, and they're sending us the best kids they have. So you have to take the good and the bad and all the in betweens and just keep swimming like you cannot, it doesn't matter if there's a bump in the road, it doesn't matter if they fail the class, it doesn't matter if there was this, we just have to keep swimming, we just have to keep, there's still a goal at the end, when I took this job. I don't really enjoy change. I don't, I don't know if everyone knows how much I hate change. But I hate it. My wife has built for change. Like anytime we can change the furniture, the something she's like, let's change this and like god I need to move. You know. But I think that's one of the things about AVID is that you spend every day changing for every kid, because it's 32 different. Miss B's for the 32 bodies in that room. And it's the the 180 - 268 different Tina's for every other coordinator that I encounter. So, I think my best advice for you to be successful is to never forget that you you came to this because you love the kids.
Yep, it is true. And I like that. I love that you said that. They don't come to us shiny. Because I know there's always these celebrations about oh, look at this kid is going here and this kid's going here and 99% of my kids are going to college. They don't come like that I worked for that. Yeah, they don't come like that. I mean, they're, you know, one or two who, you know, might have gotten there without us. But the others it is, you know, kicking and scratching and dragging those kids half the time, you know, and going to their finding out on the street, finding them in the hallway or in the bathroom and dragging them to class. We have to do that. That's why those celebrations are so meaningful, because it's AVID teacher is a job. It really is. It's the best job. But it's a job. It is a job.
All right. Well, thank you, Tina. That's all for this episode. Say my thing. Oh,
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Please definitely read your script.
Tell all our secrets. That's it for this episode of RIMS AVID Roundtable. I'm Stephanie. And I'm Kelly. If you have questions, feedback on today's episodes, hear what you think about Tina, or an idea for a future show. Please tweet us @RIMSAVID or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you. And be sure to check out our website RIMSAVID.org For all the latest news and events.
Thank you, Tina, for spending the morning with us. And thank you for sharing your story. And thanks to all of you for listening. Don't forget to follow us on your favorite podcast app so you don't miss a single episode. Join us again next time for more RIMS AVID Roundtable will save you a seat