1. Power greeting with your team in the morning to pump up the students before school starts.

2. Meeting someone from another City Year site or AmeriCorps program.

3. Spending forever writing a session plan and your students actually understand it, participate, and get past their exit ticket with flying colors!

4. Or that awkward moment when you spend forever on a session plan and realize midway through that it’s a hot mess.

5. Not only knowing the password to this person’s Wi-Fi, but singing it in your head because your brain can’t help it.

6. The pure joy you feel during report card conference time and one of your student’s grades went up.

7. That moment your students see you in something other than City Year red and khakis and compliment you on your outfit.

8.When you’re doing Physical Training and hear, “City Year! Are you ready to RE-PERFORM rocky jacks with excellence?!”

9. That moment someone asks what City Year is and you give them your flawless elevator speech you’ve been practicing in your head since Basic Academy Training.

10. Holding back your tears when you see a student that would have solved his or her problems with violence when you first met them, walk away from a problematic situation.

11. Coming up with a literacy, attendance, math or social-emotional learning initiative that has the students, staff, and your IM pleased.

12. Having a student approach you asking when you’re taking them out for an academic session because they’re low key excited to learn.

13. That feeling when a student memorized all the words to Juju On That Beat, but didn’t memorize the vocabulary for their test.

14. When your students try to get the details of your personal life in the middle of a lesson, so you have to redirect them with the swiftness.

Student- “Ms. Sam, what’s your boyfriend’s name?”
Ms. Sam- “My boyfriend’s name is please excuse my dear Aunt Sally. Now let’s get back to this math problem.”

15. When your week has been absolutely bananas, your students weren’t focused, and nothing seemed to go as planned, but it’s pay day and you hear the words “self care” echoing through your brain.

16. Realizing it’s the end of the year, and you’re really going to miss your students.


Written by City Year Philadelphia AmeriCorps Member, Sam Retamar serving at Southwark Elementary School. The work of Sam and her team is made possible by Team Sponsor, Comcast NBCUniversal and Program Sponsor, American Airlines.

Share This Page