“IS ALLIE HERE?”
“Where’s Kim?” “What about Teddy?” At the beginning of my service this was what I heard when students came into our office. During the first couple weeks of school, I went to many classrooms and met many new faces. It was exciting, but also a bit intimidating. I wondered how I would learn everyone’s names and if students would ever request my help as they did with my co-workers, Teddy and Kim. I didn’t have much time to wonder though, as I was quickly thrown into tutoring and various student support tasks. I remember the pride I felt when the first student I tutored excitedly burst into the office to tell me she had gotten a B on her History test. It was wonderful to witness her joy and new found confidence and I loved that she wanted to share it with me.
This position presents new challenges daily and it can be discouraging when there are so many students, but never enough time or resources. However, just when I’m starting to get down or wonder if I am actually making positive changes, a student walks in asking for help, talking about a good grade, or sharing their excitement about getting accepted into a summer program. I’m realizing that the students help me just as much or more than I help them because they give me purpose and keep me motivated. Now, I love that students walk in the door asking, “Is Allie here?”
[From “Voices From the Field: Reflections from Minnesota Alliance With Youth’s AmeriCorps Promise Fellows.” Spring 2014.]