The month of August brings new beginnings for many, especially in the City Year realm. Within a few short weeks we go from our first day of training to our first day of school. For many of us, this is the first time we shed our role as a student and experience our first day from the other side. No longer are we wondering if we got the teacher we have heard amazing things about or the one that everyone dreads, do our friends schedules match ours, or when we will get our first homework assignment. Instead, we are nervous about how many student names we will have to learn, will we connect with the students, or will we be successful in our role. You see, we have different concerns than our students, but the fact of the matter is that we have concerns all the same. The first day jitters never really go away, they just transform. Fortunately, we have a fantastic support system on our sides. We have schools that open their doors for us. We have teachers who welcome us into their classrooms. We have staff members who have seen and experienced a lot of things and have plenty of advice to give. And we have individual, foundation, corporate and community partners who believe so strongly in our work that they make sure we remain in our schools. Our students on the other hand, may not have as strong of a support system. School may be their only source of support. Thus, we must put our fears aside and welcome our students as if their presence at school is the best gift we have ever received. We may not know them yet, but soon our students will become the motivation for early mornings, late nights, and everything that happens in between.
The beginning of the school year means something different for everyone, but it is important to remember that the beginning is only a beginning. There is still much to be done and this is the start of an amazing year full of challenges, joys, growth and amazing stories that will leave an imprint on our lives. I can’t promise you that this year will be easy, but I can promise you that this will be the beginning of one of the best adventures you will ever have.
AmeriCorps Service Leader, Nicole Cooney