I am an educator. I am not a psychiatrist nor a trained mental health professional, but in my role as a Citizen Schools Teaching Fellow it’s my job to show students I care. The students I work with are between 13 and 15 years old. They have complex feelings and emotions and I seek to treat them as such, as opposed to “just kids” that don’t know any better. When I am supporting students in their classes, I often ask “how are you?” and mean it genuinely.
Erica Yoon, joined Citizen Schools after graduating from UC Berkeley with a Bachelors majoring in Cognitive Science Education minor. Serving as a AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow at Greenleaf K-8 Elementary School family in Oakland, California, she says “I love this job! It is definitely a position that comes with various challenges, but the relationships I make and the improvements I see on a daily basis keep me going.” Outside of work, she enjoys going for swims, playing Monopoly Deal, and singing karaoke.
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
Cameron Tulloch joined Citizen Schools this past fall as a first-year Teaching Fellow. Originally from Melville, New York, Cameron enjoys writing and recording his own music and is passionate about the nonprofit industry and helping others. Over the past semester, Cameron has proven that he is not only committed to supporting students through his work with Citizen Schools, but that he is dedicated to learning himself, as he is also a full-time student at St. John’s University in Queens. As part of his studies, Cameron, was asked to record reflections on his experiences as a new teacher. Included below is a selection of his work, documenting his first semester of teaching with Citizen Schools.
New York, NY—Nov 29, 2017—Citizen Schools is today announcing applications are available to become an AmeriCorps National Teaching Fellow in NY.
I wanted to service the young people in my community through the education field by creating unique programs and raising awareness on opportunities. Citizen Schools is continuously making efforts to achieve equity through education and nurtures and encourages teaching fellows to prioritize forward thinking. As a teaching fellow, I have developed valuable skills with the help of my colleagues and campus directors that I will be able to take with me after my two years of service.
I decided to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow because I wanted to have the opportunity to discover If teaching was a possibility for me. I am currently In school majoring in Early Childhood Education and plan to continue for my B.A. in English Literature with a concentration in Middle School and High School Education.
Citizen Schools welcomes 21 new teaching fellows and 9 returning Fellows this year. The teachers spread out across four middle schools and three grade levels. Fellows bring diverse professional experience—as artists, social workers, entrepreneurs, and recent grads—into the classroom. Our Teaching Fellow cohort went through three weeks of Summer Institute. Our CSNY orientation is an opportunity to welcome our new staff to Citizen Schools, educate them about our mission and core values, and show them all we have to offer for academic, social and emotional learning. From the start, we want to make them feel like a part of the Citizen Schools family.
Citizen Schools Massachusetts Teaching Fellows, staff, friends and family gathered at Citizen Schools Headquarters in Boston to congratulate TF2s as they finished their two years of service. Campus directors supervisors were on hand to personally congratulate each TF and share moments from their time at schools around Boston and Chelsea.
Sydney Chaffee came to Citizen Schools as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow, looking for a way to start her teaching career. She spent two years teaching at schools in Boston with citizen Schools before working at Codman Academy in Dorchester. Sydney was recently awarded the National Teacher of the Year award for her work at Codman Academy. We asked Sydney how her time at Citizen Schools has influenced her work as a teacher.
Carlos Gonzalez, Deputy Campus Director at the Browne Middle School in Chelsea, has been named one of 20 Aspiring Latino Leader Fellows for 2017 by Latinos For Education.
Before Sydney Chaffee was Teacher of the Year, and before she began working at Codman Academy, she was an 8GA Teaching Fellow at Citizen Schools Massachusetts. In this video she prepared for our 2017 WOWNOW Gala, Sydney shares stories from her time as a TF and what she learned from serving with Citizen Schools.
“I never imagined that I would be serving as an AmeriCorps member with Citizen Schools at a school I once attended as a student. At first, it was jarring to be back at the Trotter after so many years, but the familiarity eventually made me feel comfortable.”
Having attended NYC public schools throughout elementary, middle, and high school, I was able to experience a wide variety of schools across different communities within the boroughs of Queens and Brooklyn. My middle school years were some of my toughest years. At the time, there were many changes going on within my personal life that negatively affected my behavior toward my grades and schoolwork. In part, I owe my decision to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow to my middle school guidance counselor who continuously pushed me to grow.
"You must do that thing you think you cannot do.” I berate myself for my fear it’s too late I’m here in front of 30 young minds, it’s time they’re ready for me to cultivate to support to relate to help push them through. I step into the class, visions of winners, of champions, before me: let’s begin.
I always knew I wanted to work with youth but wasn’t sure in what capacity. Did I want to be a teacher or did I want to work for an organization that indirectly impacted the lives of youth? I wasn’t sure. To test out the waters on the teacher side, I thought I would apply for Teach for America. I would be able to test out my teaching skills for a limited time period and sort of get my feet wet in a field that I wasn’t too sure I wanted to enter. I was so excited about all of the great things I had heard about Teach for America and was ready to apply until I came across Citizen Schools at a career fair.
This week is AmeriCorps Week. It is an opportunity for us to celebrate the 900,000 individuals who have served as Service Members since 1994. Citizen Schools has placed more than 1,400 of these members at our campuses over the past twelve years. That is almost 3 million hours of service to communities nationwide.