Question: Am I the only one ready to dip out on City Year? 10 months didn’t seem like much as I was signing the papers in the beginning– But ever since we’ve returned from break, I’ve been ready to drop my red gear off at the office and throw up the deuces.
I’m not sure what it is, but it is becoming extremely difficult for me to get out of bed each morning, much less have energy to do boots and shoes (with a smile on my face and a heart full of grace). You know it’s bad when corps members from other schools are texting you to make sure that you’re up and ready to serve (shout out to Marvin and Mariah for that).
I’ve been told that some corps members don’t return after the holiday break and I can truly see why. The hours are long, leaving you with not much energy (and daylight savings doesn’t help). Most of the time you feel like you’re hitting your head against a brick wall, not only with students and failing grades, but with teachers, administration, and policies (you’d think this would change after five months, but nope). So much is asked of you, and you really begin questioning yourself, your abilities, and your drive. Most of all, you ask why you decided to give a year to serve in a school.
I believe that my perspective is different from other corps members because I’m slated to start Teach For America in June. I have been feeling discouraged and second guessing my ability to change lives and make a difference through education based on my City Year struggles. I only have a few months left to put a dent in goals that I have for myself, my students, and the school.
Last year, when I accepted offers from both TFA and CY, I just knew the next three years of my life would be set… But now I catch myself thinking about a change. Last week I went on about four different walk-and-talks with teachers and administrators just to talk about where I am and where I want to be. One thing I can say is that I have a great support system with the staff at my school. They allow me to come in their classroom to go in and let have. They deal with what I deal with on a daily basis and face what I will face in Mississippi with Teach For America.
The other day, I told one of my students how I was feeling and he told me that he would’ve dropped out if I hadn’t been there to motivate him. A senior came up to me in the hall today and asked me to help her study for her ACT test. I’m reminded why I’m at Mifflin and the importance of what I do and my drive to do it. I’m there to inspire, but there are times when I need inspiration too. I’m not one to just give up on anything, but man I’ve been feeling it lately. I know that we are the most consistent people in most of our students’ lives and we will only let them down if we leave unexpectedly. These next five months will truly be a challenge for me to get through, but my students are my inspiration.
— Virginia Ivey, first year corps member of the Chase Team at Mifflin High School