2015-10-06

I walked into the building. My palms were sweaty, my knees began to buckle, and my heart was racing - I was in middle school again. On September 1st, my fellow teammates and I began our first week of service as AmeriCorps members on the David V. Uihlein Foundation Team at Rufus King International Middle School. It was 6:55 am with dark skies and our hearts full of grace. We walked in the school determined to begin our service year strong and with a bang. Will my students like me? Will I be able to work diligently alongside my teacher? Am I going to be able to build some form of relationship with the staff? All of these thoughts occurred in my mind as I walked through the halls. For ten full months, this building will be my second home. For ten full months, the City Year and school community will become my second family.
 
Students started showing up at about 7:15 am, so we started our morning greeting. As we eagerly greeted the new sixth graders, they showed up in front of the building with embarrassed looks on their faces, because some of them were unfamiliar with being greeted by cheers early in the morning. Others showed up to school laughing, because they thought we were just being funny and not serious. As the day continued, we learned names, we relearned how to open up lockers, and we learned that students really do need our help to get to the next grade level. It won't be an easy task. However, the success will be worth the struggle.
 
We are all excited about the relationships, academic interventions and school events that will happen in these next ten months. As AmeriCorps members, we are thankful to commit to a full year of service for the students that need it the most. I am also excited to come home to Milwaukee Public Schools - the school district that made me a person who steadily holds myself to higher standards today.

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