Navigating Virtual Service
Coming into City Year where the focus was student’s education came with a rollercoaster of emotions. You start to think of the ups and downs and the ways of how to be a mentor and tutor. The questions that came to my mind were, “What exactly is my position? Am I a teacher’s aide or a tutor”? Once I got clarity on the roles at City Year, I headed into service and I was both stunned and pumped up for what the school year would bring.
The first day of training was July 15th where I was trained on my daily role as a Corps member. It was a very intense and detailed 8-hour virtual training. I never imagined I would be helping students in this way. Fast forward and in-person service makes me a little nervous. The whole time we have been online, I have been feeling safe at home but now that we are in person, I find myself worrying about Corona and other people’s germs. I just hope that I am graced by God. The virtual space has been somewhat difficult because it is so hard to build relationships with teenage students virtually. Zoom calls are optional and most come on with their camera turned off. I am hoping to make my presence known with online communication and hoping the students respond to it. In-person interaction is much different than virtual but I have come up with some ideas on how to navigate, like greeting the students, checking in with them and seeing how they are feeling by using Gif.com links, summarizing what the teachers are saying in the chat box, giving tips on how to stay on top of things before class starts and by just being visible. At times it does get hard, but at the end of the day I feel great by doing an awesome, good deed.
In conclusion, virtual learning is new to some but not foreign to others. I am so glad I was given the opportunity to be able to share my dedication to educating and mentoring. I am proud to be working with City Year and I hope that I continue to grow as leader and be a mentor to my team and my students.
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