Written by Derrek Studebaker, AmeriCorps Member serving on the New Schools for Baton Rouge Team at Claiborne Elementary School. 

As we near the halfway mark of our year of service, my team has decided to reflect on the most gratifying part of their service. It is often easy to get caught up on day to day struggles with students. It can be disheartening to see students perform poorly- or worse, give up. It is important to keep sight on the important gains that we have seen in ourselves, our team, and our students to stay motivated. I asked every member on my team what the most gratifying part of their service has been. For me, the largest gains I have seen are in my students’ willingness to try. At the beginning of the year, I struggled to get my students to engage and try to learn. At this point in the year, I can get a student to actively participate and try to learn the concepts that are being taught. While this doesn’t always result in higher outcomes, it is great to see students excited about the fact that they get to learn.

I would honestly say figuring a lot of things out on
my own and thinking on my feet. Succeeding while
improvising has been a very rewarding
aspect of my year.

Desiree Sanii

Watching my students learn and grow.

Lindsey Lafleur

Seeing my students that love to learn and work hard.

Courtney Moore

The relationships I’ve built with my students 
and my team.

Kyra Smith

The trust and respect that I’ve built with my students.

Rebekah Miller

Helping a social justice cause that I was
uneducated about previously.

Will Honer

I get to be a part of an organization that effectively
addresses the gap in my students’ education.

Sabrieon Sanders

The most gratifying part of my year this year is
seeing my team achieve goals.
As a team leader you kind of have
to live vicariously through corps members.
My impact to the students comes from
my impact to my team.

Trevor Perry

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