Why The AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellowship is the Most Awesome Way to Make a Difference

The best job you can get after college is serving as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow with Citizen Schools. As a Teaching Fellow alumna, I can say this from experience: this work is challenging, rewarding, and totally awesome. With help from my fellow Difference Makers from all over the country I will tell you why...

1. Teaching awesome students

The best part of the AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellowship is the chance to work closely with the most inspiring kids ever. Citizen Schools works with public middle schools in low-income, urban areas. These students might not have access to all of the same opportunities that their more affluent peers have, but they are bright, and eager to learn. As a Teaching Fellow, you will lead classes in the afternoon-- helping these students grow academically and emotionally, and believe that they can go to college and have successful careers.

Jessica Eddy, second year Teaching Fellow in New York City, recalls the moment she realized she was making an impact, “Nothing hit me harder than when one of my students asked, ‘Ms. Eddy, are you going to leave us? Are you going to quit?’ It was in that moment, for the very first time, that I recognized the value of my work. If nothing else, I came to know that I represent a steady force in students’ lives, someone they look forward to seeing everyday, and someone they know will stick it out with them when times are hard.”

2. Serving your country with supportive people.

The National Teaching Fellowship is one of the many service programs supported by AmeriCorps. Simply put, AmeriCorps members get things done. They give students access to quality education, fight hunger, build houses, and make America better every day. The Teaching Fellowship is not only an opportunity to serve great students, but a chance to serve your country, and make a real impact on America’s future in only two years. You will connect with families and help bring volunteers into the classroom. This type of service builds communities and brings people together in support of students.

But we don’t expect you to solve these huge societal issues alone. Being an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow means getting to work as part of a team that will always have your back.

Alyssa Pressman, first year Teaching Fellow in Charlotte, North Carolina, said, “We all have many roles, from managing volunteers, to analyzing student grades, and the best part is that we’re all there to support and learn from each other. We laugh every day, have fun every day, and I look forward to going to work to see them. I knew this work would be challenging, but my team helps me understand that no matter how hard it can be on some days, together we are making a real impact on kids.”

3. Growing as a professional and as a person

Spoiler Alert: This is the part where you start excitedly filling out the application.

After serving in the AmeriCorps Teaching Fellowship you will be so much more mature, professional, well-rounded, and just better overall. Trust me. In just two years, you’ll not only help students achieve, but you will develop skills in relationship management, data analysis, project management, communication, leadership, and more. Added bonus: These skills make you marketable in all industries, so whatever your future holds, the Fellowship will help you get there.

Teaching Fellows also get to work with professionals from all types of career. Hello, networking! Part of what makes participating in Citizen Schools so impactful on students is the apprenticeship program. Volunteers from some of the biggest companies- Google, Facebook, EMC, Cognizant, and more join Teaching Fellows in the classroom to lead students through hands on projects that expose them to exciting careers. The kids get inspired to dream big, and Teaching Fellows get to interact and network with successful professionals from a wide range of career fields.

Sarah Rabiner, Teaching Fellow alumna, said, “The amount of professional development and support that I experienced at Citizen Schools is unlike anything that I’ve experienced before or since. There are so many buckets of skills that are important to long term professional success and career satisfaction that I was exposed to in an intensive way during the Fellowship.”

So there you have it. The AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellowship at Citizen Schools is a great way to make a difference-- on yourself, on students, and on the community. Apply today for the chance to change lives.