be_ixf;ym_202406 d_25; ct_100 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Consistency Really is Key

My name is Rebecca Begemann, and I am a Second Year AmeriCorps member serving at Brighton High School in Boston, Massachusetts. I continued my service with City Year for a second year for one main reason: consistency.

Consistency is the best way to make a meaningful impact on our students’ lives, and it is why serving students now is so important.  

The students that I have worked with, both this year and last, benefit from consistent, individualized support, which is why having City Year AmeriCorps members at their schools can make their academic and social emotional learning experiences that much better. 

I’ve learned that the main way to show students you genuinely care about their success is by remaining consistent and showing up for them, day after day. It is no secret that some days are hard for all of us. With the nationwide teacher shortage, school can be rough not only on students, but also on teachers, staff, and AmeriCorps members too. Even just a smile, a wave and an enthusiastic “Good morning!” is sometimes enough to get students through a tough day. With each small gesture, you are showing them that you’re back again for another day to support them and cheer them on. And that means something. 

Towards the beginning of service in the 2021-2022 academic year, there was one student in class who didn’t seem to ever want me around. I respected this, but I still made sure to check up on her every day, even if sometimes I felt like I was just being a bother. I continued to show that I cared and that I was always going to be there for her if she ever needed my support.

I wasn’t really sure if I had made a difference to this student, until my last day of school in June of 2022. This student gave me a hug and asked if I had seen what she wrote on my “Goodbye Ms. Becca” poster. When I returned home that evening, I read the small blurb she wrote on my poster and smiled. She wrote, “Dear Ms. Becca. I will miss you. I’m sorry that I sometimes give you a hard time. It’s all love.”  

“Dear Ms. Becca. I will miss you. I’m sorry that I sometimes give you a hard time. It’s all love.”  

Throughout my second year of service with City Year this year, I have noticed that the consistency my teammates and I bring every day to the students we serve leads to tangible results.  

We see an increase in student engagement in our classrooms by continuously showing up for our students. From an academic standpoint, working with my students and offering support every day with reading comprehension skills has led to an increase in scores among all the classes that I work with. Strategies like practicing annotating texts with students daily, allowing them to draw their own inferences and define unknown words using context clues, have led to these skills becoming second nature for them; which in turn, has proven that students are reaching a level of deep understanding of the texts that they read. This shows us that the work City Year is doing daily truly matters and that we as AmeriCorps members are making an actual difference in the lives of our students. 

From an academic standpoint, working with my students and offering support every day with reading comprehension skills has led to an increase in scores among all the classes that I work with.

As we navigate our service years, we must not lose sight of what is most important: the students. Through the good days and the bad, we are here for one main reason, and that is to show our students that they matter. As AmeriCorps members, we have a duty of service to a cause greater than ourselves. Let’s keep this in the back of our minds as we walk into schools each morning to serve another day. 

I am truly proud of what we as a Corps have accomplished this school year, and I am looking forward to seeing the difference City Year AmeriCorps members continue to make in the future. Thank you to all the AmeriCorps members who devote their time to students every day! 

 

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