This was a great collaboration opportunity among The Service Collaborative of WNY, AmeriCorps, and the YMCA. I had the opportunity to pursue what I enjoyed - teaching students - in structured, yet camp-like setting. Students received educational support to retain what they learned from the last school year and a safe space to play games and make friends. I enjoyed the small group of teachers and TAs I worked with. The location of the school was close to my house, and I especially enjoyed getting to know the students for 2 months.
What I wish was different
I wish that there had been a little more structure/training on what was expected of the teachers/TAs for the summer. As times things had to be quickly done, as things even at school do, but if we had mapped out the summer and were all on the same page; it would have gone a little more smoothly.
When working with the YMCA or AmeriCorps, sometimes expectations can get lost in translation. My advice would be to stay organized and confident in asking questions and following-up. Communication is key!
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AmeriCorps Jumpstart Volunteer
June - August 2018 • Buffalo, NY
What I liked
Being a part of a program which empowers ENL youth to rise up empowered with access to language is so incredibly powerful. It consistently inspired me to become a better teacher for my students and be creative through challenging circumstances. I continue to allow this experience to informs my current teaching practice. Lastly, the connections I was able to make through Jumpstart will continue to live on and keep growing despite the program coming to an end.