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 underserved students across our 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.
Tieyenna is a Teaching Fellow at Martin Luther King Jr. and Quail Hollow middle schools.
Why did you decide to become an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow?
I chose to serve with Americorps as a Teaching Fellow because I believe that each child deserves to be believed in. I wanted to impact my students the same way that I was impacted by my greatest teachers, with love, patience, and understanding.
What has been one of the most transformative moments of your service?
Last year, our Teaching Fellows at MLK Jr. middle school, chose to do a health expo for our students. We hired a fitness instructor to come in and teach a socafit class (dance fitness to soca music), while I taught yoga in another room, and the rest of our Teaching Fellows taught the students how to make various smoothies and their own trail mix. When introducing yoga to our students, I was caught off guard with the praises that the class received. The students took their health very seriously and asked how they could improve their flexibility, how often they should be active, etc. Being that we teach middle school students who are in such adverse circumstances, it warmed my heart knowing that I was able to touch them in another way outside of the classroom. I was also able to see a new level of passion from the students towards something unfamiliar to them, and that passion strengthened my classroom for the rest of the year continuing into this school year.
How has service changed you and your perspective of the world?
Service has shown me that there is an abundance of children who need love, confidence, and someone to invest in them, the way someone invested in me.