It seems like you cannot escape reflecting as an AmeriCorps member. AmeriCorps members gather for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and reflect; we paint school hallways and reflect. Sometimes, we dedicate entire days to reflecting as a team, which is what our Program Director planned for our Team Meeting on 12/6.
OSEEC began its day at the Botanical Center, where we were separated into groups with representatives from each of the 4 OSEEC sites. We talked lightly about our sites and how our years were going. We then continued our day of reflection back at Save the Bay in Providence. We stayed in our groups and had to organize what we spoke about into three categories then write them on a giant paper with all the other groups.
First, we started out positively and discussed our successes at our sites. We included personal successes and successes we felt we had accomplished as a team. Many OSEEC members had similar successes and stories amongst the different sites.
We followed up this discussion with one about challenges. Our group discussion became really heavy at times, but we maintained an open environment where everyone felt comfortable speaking their minds. We ended with what we were looking forward to in the OSEEC program’s future (or maybe just our futures.)
I thought it was really interesting that many of the topics written in one category, were found in all the categories. These overlaps were from different team members, but sometimes from the same person. This reflection came at a good time during our service because it helped us realize where we are as educators, team members, and as individuals. Many people on the OSEEC team were feeling overwhelmed with their responsibilities, which can happen easily in any corps. We had an honest discussion in a positive atmosphere where we could take the first steps toward solutions. As AmeriCorps members, sometimes we feel inundated with reflection, but also as AmeriCorps members, we need it.