A day in the life of Jake Gerber

Jake Gerber working hard on an assignment




A day in Jake Gerber’s life


Have you ever wondered what takes place in Room 110 Lower A? Jake, Betsy, Havi, Harry, Elisa, and others work hard behind these closed doors under the supervision of their teacher Shaughn Neal. But what do they do? To help us unravel the mystery, Jake Gerber has agreed to describe his typical school days at East.

“Every morning, I take the bus and go straight to room 110, where I meet my friends. [During] first period, we talk about the weekend,” Gerber said.

“I enjoy the flexibility and imagination that I can use to teach my students,” Neal said. “We have a great time just being around these kids because of their amazing zest for life. We use videos, movies, poems and anything else that can help relate the information to our students.”

Second period is math class, and the students learn how to count dollars and change money. Third period is reading class with Diane Dougherty.

“I love it,” Gerber said. “I like to listen to our teacher reading picture books. I think about the characters and I imagine I am one of them.”

In the spelling class that comes next, the students learn to write words like “pizza”, or “swimming,”—words used often in daily life.

“I can spell ‘bed’ easily,” Gerber explained.

Fifth period is an elective in the Black Box—drama class with Ms Love. Gerber enjoys this class as when he’s on stage he “feels perfect” and “funny.” Cooking comes right after drama. Mr. Holman teaches the c lass how to bake brownies, strawberry pies and cookies. Gerber’s goal is to eventually be able to bake cookies at home and impress his three brothers and parents. Neal couldn’t agree more with Gerber’s ambition.

He would like his students “to excel in all of their jobs, academic arenas and most importantly their social lives.”

Gerber already made his family proud last year with his participation in the chorus productions organized by Ms. Davis.

“Jake was accomplished, knew the words and where to be on stage and was a full participant. That was a joy to take in,” his mother Ann said.

Mrs. Gerber is also very pleased to receive emails from her son. Seventh period is a specially delegated “emails” time.

“I write emails to my mom,” Gerber confirmed. “I say, ‘Dear mom, I went to class, worked hard, listened to the teachers and then I went out. Love Jake.’ And then she usually answers, ‘Great job Jake, keep it up!’”

On his way home, like any other high school student, Gerber is often very tired from the stress and hard work of the day.

Mrs Gerber says that as a result of her son’s time at East she has “seen improvements in Jake’s reading and writing skills, as well as his self advocacy skills. Jake is much better at expressing what he wants from school and the job setting.”

However, she remains concerned that Jake is not being challenged as much as he could be, finding himself in-between two curricula.

Shaughn Neal agrees that having seven students makes it very challenging to ensure “that the content of the instruction is relatable for each student”.

However, for Gerber, all is well.

“Growing older, you start to like school better,” he said, and added with a smile, “I still think I liked my time as a baby the most because I could do silly stuff without getting in trouble.”

It is hard to disagree with Gerber on that statement.

By Max Smith


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