Walking into a new job always has its surprises, but when the position is an AmeriCorps program, it’s sometimes impossible to predict what will be thrown at you during your year of service. This year has taught me a lot, and I’d love to be able to give upcoming Ed Fellows some words of wisdom.
1) At some point, a child will probably cry because of something you said, did, or asked them to do. It’s a pretty terrifying thing to experience, but keep your cool, stand by your original decision, and let it lie. Most kids don’t hold grudges, anyway.
2) It’s okay to ask for help. At The Learning Community, we have numerous resources at our disposal. Use them! Social workers, behavior specialists, and seasoned teachers can all help us figure out tough situations. (Also, Nurse Liz is great for checking out an achy ear or helping to manage a headache.)
3) AmeriCorps members are usually pretty broke, but we get by. My advice? Make AmeriCorps friends who can sympathize with your financial shortcomings. Once you’ve got some friends, find happy hours, cheap food trucks, free events, and food-stamp friendly delis to explore together.
4) Get to know your new neighborhood. Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls are hubs for amazing cultural food and events. Spend time in the communities you serve. It will make you feel much more connected to your service.
5) Network, network, network. All the amazing professionals you meet could be the connection to your next job opportunity!
Last but not least: ENJOY IT! This has been an incredible experience. Make the most of the time you’ve got with these great organizations. Until next time.