By Shannon Bentley — Earlier this week, I received the best news possible – I was offered a position with the City Year organization.
If you didn’t know – City Year is an AmeriCorps organization that works with urban youth in the lowest achieving schools. Since I am from Milwaukee, I will be serving 11 months in an underperformed school in the area. The organization offers the best outcomes for college/high school graduates; you get to work with children who represent the statistic of failing students. They are a part of a margin that is said will not pass high school come their senior year. They are also a part of a percentage of students that are low in their MAPS/WKCE/ACT test scores.
These students need more than teachers; they need a community to come together to bring back the focus and value of education in their lives and that is why I fell in love with City Year. They believe in closing the achievement gap and I want to be a part of that service. My decision to go in to City Year leaves one question – what about teaching?
My mom and dad both asked me with such fury! It’s as if I committed a crime for wanting to do good for the community. My professors would even scold me because I didn’t want to teach right away but I have my reasons!
- I am going to be licensed to teach secondary education which means that when I am able to teach my first year, I will only be 10 years older than my freshman and 6 years older than my seniors. I want to be older when I teach students at that age that way they are able to see my advice as wisdom and not a big sister just trying to tell them what to do.
- Working with City Year means that I will gain more insight and experience in MPS schools that I have not been able to see! Every MPS school is different, especially the schools that are considered to be underperforming.
- I can help teachers in their classrooms! As I am student teaching, I find that I perform better when I have a co-teacher in the room with me. My students also perform better when there are two faces keeping them on their toes more than one. I can also see what the teacher teaches and help students with their homework and parents won’t have to worry about helping.
All in all – I get to be a part of a community that is doing right by minority students and giving them an advantage in their education. I don’t mind that I am not going to teach right away when the year 2015-16 comes around. I will still be in a classroom though, and I will be helping students succeed in their academics which is what future teachers are supposed to do right?
So! If you are a teacher who don’t want to teach right away and go in to a volunteering service, then by all means go for it!