At Citizen Schools, no role is more essential to the success of our students than that of the AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow. Citizen Schools National Teaching Fellows create extraordinary enrichment and academic support experiences for the students we serve the nation. On a daily basis, Fellows deepen connections between schools and parents, help to develop social-emotional skills through mentoring and coaching students, and facilitate hands-on learning opportunities through our apprenticeships.
Demetrius Wilson is first year Teaching Fellow currently serving at Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School in Mattapan, Massachusetts.
Why did you decide to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow?
Students in urban schools do not receive the necessary support which then ensures that they are directed on a pathway to success. I wanted to be a Fellow so that I can not only help guide the students academically, but also assist them in dealing with social issues that come along during this tough phase of their life. I am ultimately trying to be the role model for the students I needed when I was in their shoes.
One surprise that I encountered during my service was ______ ?
I was placed in the middle school of which I graduated from which makes my connection with the students and community much more apparent. Although this is the same school, the culture has shifted a bit. With this slight shift, it has been quite a challenge in the first month of program, but pressure makes diamonds so I am more than up for the challenge.
What has been one of the most transformative moments of your service?
From being a student in this school to becoming a part of the system is quite a shift in my paradigm. I finally understand what it is like to teach students, specifically students of color, but I also understand student behaviors and other issues that they may be going through. It is a beautiful privilege to have experienced both sides of the coin because it has equipped me for the bumpy road ahead.
One way that I feel supported by my peers and/or Citizen Schools is by ______ ?
My peers are amazing! We built our relationship and level of trust from the first day and it has been evident every single day. Whether I need help putting together a lesson plan or just advice to ensure that I am giving my all to students, my team has my back and I am grateful!