Written by Jalen Shelvin, AmeriCorps Member proudly serving at Broadmoor High School.
My less traveled road of imperfections and surprising accidents have all been overpopulated with joys and plenty of appreciations. I serve at THE AMAZING Broadmoor High School with this amazing partner teacher Mr. Bell and a host of talented students, who all share abilities that I plan on cherishing forever. Through this journey, I developed a mindset of eliminating all expectations when coming to this school. That mindset ultimately helped craft a poised spirit when approaching these kids which in result, led to possibly the greatest two months of my life.
No seriously, explaining City Year to my family and friends was extremely difficult at first. I’m not a teacher but I'm not not a teacher, and I’m no counselor but I do counselor type things at times so it was difficult. I never truly understood City Year culture, until I became the culture. By becoming the culture, I meant living and breathing City Year even on mornings where I could hardly stay awake. One practice I have adopted and use every morning is Joys, Ripples, and Appreciations.
A Joy of mine would definitely be my students and how the word grateful is an understatement when explaining them. There are many mornings where I wake up worried that exhaustion will cause me to fumble throughout the day but as soon as I come to school and see my kids, I am fueled with excitement of being able to converse with them. This experience has given me a sense of patience that I never thought I had, but it also further extended my possible dream of one day becoming an English teacher. Through that dream, I plan to affect students even further than what I am now but still hope to maintain the level of "relatable" that I have now.
An appreciation or two of mine would definitely be my team and partner teacher. In this odd way, my partner teacher is someone I've known longer than expected. We went to the same college together, literally the only two African American Males in our department so this partnership has been a breeze in terms of chemistry and has been beneficial to the students, specifically in ways of our balance between each other. Another appreciation would be my supporting cast of a team, whom I admire so much for their dedication and drive with our students. My Team Leader is someone I look up to especially because of her constant push but also in the way, she relates to us so well. My Impact Manager is also AMAZING. She makes my space of work feel like home with her presence, and that very gift has made these two months a promising year for better to come.
This city, this school, this environment has all contributed to my excitement of being in City Year. I'm from a city named Lafayette, which is 45 minutes away so home is definitely not very far. But I am creating a home in this space, a home that may last for years to come.