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    Posted on 01/28/2021

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    Kimball Podcast Episode 1

    Episode 1 Transcript - Interview with Mr. B

    Before conferences and Thanksgiving break, we got to interview Mr. B, our new school counselor.

    Oh yeah? What was it like?

    Well, we asked him a couple of questions, and we learned more about Mr. B. Like, he plans to stick around, he used to work at another school near Kimball, and he likes to play video games and sports.

    Sounds fun. Can’t wait to hear more!

    Music: Sno Day by former Kimball student Noah P.

    Um, first introduce us with your name and a little bit about yourself, like what you like to do for hobbies and stuff.

    Okay, well, my name is Mr. B, but you can also call me Mr Blanton. I like to play basketball when, you know, we're not in the middle of all this craziness. I also like to play some video games, I’m a PlayStation guy, so I play games like Spiderman. I'm playing the new Marvels Avengers game right now. I'm still trying to catch up to a lot of my friends; they're really far ahead, but I'm on my way to the top though, and then I love hanging out with my friends and family as well.

    How has been your time at Kimball?

    My time at Kimball is very, very short. Since I just started in October, so last month, but it has been a fun and new experience. I'm really excited to keep this going. I see a bunch of hands and I don't know who to call. I saw Sabir's hand go up first.

    What made you think about becoming a counselor? And also, what made you think about being a counselor here?

    That's a great question. Well, I wanted to be a counselor first because I love listening and helping people with their whatever it is that they're going through. I love to give my advice and make sure that they have, you know,the best opportunity to be successful. And then I wanted to be a counselor at Kimball because I actually went to high school in the same area, so I'm familiar with it. I've been in the neighborhood for a long time. I also worked at another school that was down the street from Kimball, so, I feel like Kimball was the best place for me because I've been in the neighborhood for, over about 10 years now, so I feel really comfortable being here.

    Do you think you will continue to work at Kimball, like in future years?

    Yes, that is my plan. I do plan on staying here as long as you all will have me.

    What are you gonna do in this situation with the online currently? How are you gonna have meetings with other students?

    How am I going to, like, interact with the students? That's a good question. Well first, I have a form that you guys can fill out if you ask your teacher for it. It gives you a chance to talk to choose what it is you would like to talk to me about. Then I set up a time to chat with you and then we have a chat about whatever it is that is on your mind. But I also will be visiting some of your classrooms to give like classroom lessons on some social emotional stuff to make sure you guys are, you know, your best selves and your minds are strong and ready to go to be able to take on the new challenges we have in our world today.

    Have you been busy so far?

    Oh, yes, super busy making sure everyone has everything that they need. I'm always calling parents, I'm in a lot of meetings, making sure we're doing everything, making sure we're making the best choices to support you guys. So, it's been a lot of phone calls, emails and meetings for me so far, but I will get a chance to start seeing you guys here in the next couple of weeks when we come back from the from some of our breaks.

    When did you join the Kimball community and what were you expecting?

    So I went to Franklin High School. I know the area, I grew up on Dawson St which is like maybe like half a mile away from the school. So I spent a lot of my time over here and then I worked at another elementary school down the street called John Muir. So I've been in the area. I'd know the setup, I would know the community and then on top of that the reason I love being at Kimball is because I've heard nothing but great things about it and I've always seen great things from Kimball students. In the community saw it's like why not join something that's already awesome and just try to be try to become awesome myself and become even more. Make you guys even more awesome than you already are.

    What school did you work at before Kimball? And what was the first school that you worked at?

    The school I work at before Kimball was John Muir Elementary, so it's right down the street from you guys. The very first school I worked at, I - this is actually my very first school working at as a counselor, but before I was an IA or an instructional assistant. I first started in high school, I was there for about maybe two months and then ‘cause I was subbing, so then I moved down to elementary and I felt like elementary was a much better fit for me. So I decided to stay with that.

    Did you have any jobs before this, counselor?

    Yep I, um, like I said I was an instructional assistant at John Muir and at some of our high schools around the district. And then, I also did some film production stuff too, so I was the guy who would run the cameras or help the cameraman make sure they don't trip over cords at like high school football games and even some UW games as well. So, yep, had a few different things going on before I before I was able to make it successfully with counseling.

    Do you think this is gonna be a permanent career as a counselor, or do you think you're gonna try to move on to a different type of career?

    No, no, I'm here for good I’m the counselor till the end until I retire when I'm like older and crustier than I already am.

    Speaking of retiring, what is your retirement plan?

    Ooh, man, you got some good questions, my guy! Retirement plan, you know, I don't exactly have one at the moment, seeing as I just started my career a month ago, but you know, I can get back to you on that. And by the end of the school year I will have a retirement plan and we can talk about that, alright?

    How does online school affect your teaching?

    Excellent question man. You guys are so good. The way online learning is affected or my job is affected by a lot. Because as you guys may know, counselors work well with doing you know in person type of interactions. So it it me being new to the job, being new to the building makes it hard for me to build those connections. 'cause normally I could just come by and walk into your class and you know, just sitting on the lessons and see how you guys are and see what fun, cool things your doing. But it's a little more difficult now because I have to have a class link I have to make sure there's the right time that I can come in and I'm also doing a lot more meetings online then I would be doing in person 'cause I would meet with you guys more than I would meet with adults. So it's kind of like everything is almost flip flopped for me.

    Have you ever gone inside the Kimball building recently in like the last year?

    Um, not in the last year, but I am there every day Monday through Thursday in my office. So that way I can make sure I stay productive and motivated and make sure that I have all the tools that I need to make sure you guys are, you know, support it in the best way possible.

    Do you think you would have more students? Come to come to you for questions and answers. In real life or on computer.

    Definitely in real life. I'm sure you guys will be able to see not not to the full amount, but I'm a pretty silly and goofy guy, but I also like to make sure that you guys are, you know. You guys are doing the best that you can, and I feel that I would meet with a lot more people in person just because of my personality. I'm a very nice, easy going person to talk to and I feel that that would be. You would see that and you would fill that more in person as you would as opposed or instead of online, but you still will get some of that. That goofy cool relatable Mr B. But just on this little tiny screen that you see now as opposed to in person.

    And my other question was, what was your first job ever

    Actually, my very first job ever was. I don't know if you guys have heard of the Umoja Fest, which is like a festival that happens over in the Central district every summer. I was on the planning team. To help start this basketball tournament that we have going. So I was a part of that for the first 2 years we set up and made all the promotions and connected with community members to make sure that we could rent the basketball like rent out and make sure that we had the basketball courts for that. And we make sure that we had people on teams to have a big tournament.

    And Sabir, could you ask your question again?

    How do you think you could improve the Kimball community?

    I plan to improve the community by connecting with you guys more, bringing in more resources to make sure that you guys feel supported and encouraged to be the strong independent learners that you are. Then also, I plan to, have planned to do a lot of different things. I can’t, now, 'cause they're in process, I don't want to say them before, they are not set in stone, but I have some things going on to make sure that you guys like I said feel safe, supported and encouraged in your school environment and making sure that you guys have tools to make you more prepared for middle school and more prepared for the things that life will throw at you, 'cause life is full of challenges and I feel that I will have some good skills and techniques for you guys to be able to be. You know, great people once you as you progress and get older in your life. So some of the skills that I will be teaching you. You guys can carry these all the way through your entire life.

    Right now, are you teaching K through five or only like three through five.

    I will be teaching K through 5 as a school counselor, it is my responsibility to teach every student in the building just like just like a teacher has to teach. Every teacher, just like a teacher has to teach every student in their class, well, the entire building is my class. If you could think about it that way so, yep. Kindergarten all the way through 5th.

    What do you think you're gonna, what do you think you can do by the end of the year? Like how could you change something by this end of the year?

    How can I change something by the end of this year? Um, it's an interesting question. Well I feel that I can change the way we respond and the way we think about challenges and things that are outside of our control. 'cause sometimes we sometimes. It's harder to deal with things that are out of our control than we realize, so being able to understand how to deal with things that aren't necessarily in your control, and being able to still navigate and move around. That is how I feel I can make that change.

    I love these questions. By the way guys, these are awesome.

    Are there any last questions that you want to ask, podcast interview team? I know that we’ve got to get you back to class, but you did some great interview questions.

    Who is your favorite basketball team?

    Ooh! Well, since we do not have the Seattle Super Sonics at the moment - I know! – Sorry, I got a little emotional there, but the Dallas Mavericks are actually my favorite basketball team at the moment, but once the Seattle Super Sonics come back, I am green, white and yellow until the end.

    Well, I've been giving you a lot of serious questions like I have a silly one for you now do you really think you’d beat me in 2K?

    Do I really think - in 2K? Man, I don't, you know, I won't lie, I'm not the greatest at 2K, but I feel like I will give you 50 points with Luka so you better watch out, Luka’s my guy. Next to Kevin Durant, of course. So, who knows. Maybe we can set something up here later in the year, Sabir, I can, you know, give you this 50 piece real quick.

    What are the pros and cons of being in remote learning at a new school?

    Well, the pros are it forces and challenges me to think of new ways to interact with students, It is also challenges me to come up with new lesson plans on how to how to get to students the best. Um, cons would be I don't get to have that face to face interaction, which I really thrive and love to do. And then also it makes it a little bit more difficult to actually reach people because I can't just walk up to you and. Ask you to come step outside of class and have a quick chat with you. But now I have to email your teacher and say hey, what's the best time for me to check on or see what's going on with our friend or even just if I want to have a quick chat and just, you know, even if it's like a quick chat about how I'm going to give 50 points to Sabir or whatever, I can't do that without going through like three or four different people to set up a time for that. That's probably the biggest issue I have right now.

    What's your favorite food?

    Ooh, my favorite food is actually teriyaki chicken. So good. It's funny my mom was actually, my mom lives in Mississippi right now, but she always when she comes back up to visit, she's always like “you gotta take me to teriyaki spots. You know all the good ones, like, I just don't understand how you find 'em.”

    Alright, thank you Mr. B

    No problem. Thank you, guys for wanting to interview me I it makes me feel special and important.

    Thank you.

    You are a wonderful first interview subject.

    First? Such an honor. Oh man, my day’s even better now. Thanks, guys!

    Thank you to Mr. B for meeting with the podcast interview team. We liked interviewing you.

    If any other 5th graders want to join the podcast interview team, email Ms. KT or send her a message on Teams.

    And if you have any suggestions for people you think we should interview, you can send that to Ms. KT, too.

    Music: Sno Day by former Kimball student Noah P.

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