With the end of the school year comes the beginning of goodbyes. As our students take the final exams we’ve been working with them towards for the past eight months, us AmeriCorps members are starting to see just how far they’ve come. Of course, it’s rewarding to know that the lessons you’ve taught have actually made an impact on your students’ success, but we’re also getting to step back and realize the extent of the impact they’ve made on us. Each member of this team has learned something from our students that we will carry with us wherever we go next.
“This is cheesy, but I’ve learned that a positive attitude can change everything. [My starfish] and some of my other students have this really upbeat spirit. At times, I’ve felt like maybe I shouldn’t be so goofy and energetic, but seeing those kids reminds me that having that
enthusiasm is okay.”
“Last week, one of my students came in (as she always does) telling me she was in a bad mood and was going to have a terrible day. I smiled at her and said “Good Morning!” and started singing to her. Of course, she complained about my singing and told me she hated me, but within a few seconds, she was smiling. All it takes is a genuine smile or showing [someone] you care to turn their day around. It works both ways, from me to my students and vice-versa. I think [this year] really showed me the importance of taking moments out of your day to acknowledge the people you love.
“I’m going to steal a quote from one of my students– I think I’m better at being a person now. Prior to City Year, I was constantly looking towards the future and very rarely took time to appreciate the moment I was in. I felt the brevity of this year pretty early on and it allowed me to see my time here as precious. In turn, I’ve become a lot more appreciative of the people in my life. I’ve also learned that pinky promises are an extremely potent tool, even amongst
“If at first something doesn’t make sense, read it again.”
“[My students taught me] to listen with empathy.”
“My students taught me that anything is possible.”
“Every student has a specific perspective to bring to the table.
It’s time for the world to start listening.”
Written by the Wells Fargo Team Serving at The Edward H White Military Academy of Leadership
City Year Jacksonville