What you can expect as a mid-year AmeriCorps member
So, you’re thinking about applying to City Year after the school year has officially begun, what we call a ‘mid-year’ AmeriCorps member. You know that choosing to serve students and schools is a big decision, no matter what time of year. But choosing to serve as a mid-year corps member is definitely a unique decision.
Simply put, mid-year AmeriCorps members begin service in the middle of the school year, where they’re able to add capacity to existing City Year teams and support even more students in reaching their full potential.
So, what should you know before you apply as a mid-year corps member? Here are few things to consider:
Be prepared to hit the ground running
AmeriCorps members who start service at the beginning of the school year (in August or September, depending on local school schedules) go through Basic Training Academy (BTA)—a month-long onboarding experience and introduction to City Year. Corps members learn about the history and evolution of the organization, youth development strategies, and our in-school service model. They’re also assigned to their teams and school communities during BTA.
As a mid-year, you’ll receive all the same training but in about half the time. So, be prepared to hit the ground running!
You’ll also need to lean into this mentality once your initial training is over and you begin service. With the school year already underway, it’ll take some quick learning to adjust to the pre-existing team and school community schedules, classroom dynamics and student-corps member relationships.
On the one hand, this may seem daunting. But think about it like this: You’ll be coming into a full support network of other corps members who already have a couple of months of service—and knowledge—under their belts. They’ll be able to show you around the school building; support you in building relationships with students they already know; and help you get introduced to the City Year community.
Adding additional capacity at a critical time for student success
While your team will be helpful in your transition, know that you’ll be able to support them at a critical part of their service as well.
The can be challenging—for corps members and students. Corps members who started at the beginning of the school year may be feeling a bit burned out and physically exhausted. With wintertime approaching, daylight hours get shorter, the weather gets colder and all of this can lead to low morale. As a mid-year corps member, you’re coming in with fresh energy and perspective at this crucial moment—a beneficial morale boost for your new teammates.
Students are likely to feel fatigued halfway through the school year as well. With holiday breaks coming up, they’re restless, and it may be hard for them to focus on school. Mid-year corps members have the opportunity to enter this space and reengage students in the learning process.
Relationship building is key. Be persistent.
Whether you start your service in August or January, relationship building is a key aspect of the City Year experience. For mid-years, this can be challenging because students will likely already have established connections with corps members and other caring adults in the school community.
You’ll need to be intentional when trying to build rapport with your new students and partner teachers. Show up for them day after day, so they know that you’re no different than the other City Year corps members that they’ve learned to trust and rely on. If you stay persistent, in time, they’ll understand that you’re there to support them and help them achieve their academic goals.
And remember that though you’ll have less time to build these relationships, they’ll be no less rewarding or impactful!
Are you interested in becoming a mid-year AmeriCorps member? Apply now!
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