Reflections on the first half of the year
By William Ross, corps member serving at Bakersville Elementary School
What makes a great year of service? Only half way through the year and I feel a connection with all the students in my class and the school. The best feeling in the world is being trusted enough to help a struggling student in a focus list group, and watch them click on a concept. The best moments happen when a student finds his or her motivation, like a well of creative energy waiting to be tapped. More than anything, a feeling of trust and hope for the future pervades a sense that we are all in this together, and that the world is better for it.
The year is so short, already half over, and there is so much more to do. Each team member at Bakersville Elementary School shares a sentence about why their service is so important, fun, and why they truly can’t want to come back after break. Photograph from left to right:
Melissa Slanetz, 4th grade “The answer is simple, I can’t quit on my students. Not now, not ever.”
Harvey Vincent, team leader “I can’t wait to come back from break to hear all the joys from how my incredible team had spent their holidays.”
William Ross, 5th grade “My class needs my support, and I need them. Together we will inspire each other to grow and reach for our dreams.”
Erika Swiger, 3rd grade “My kids will be coming back with the same struggles and I will be coming back with the same dedicated support. I’m coming back for them & for myself as a developing leader.”
Seun Odueyungbo, 5th grade “I’m coming back because I still have plenty to do.”
Ian Umphrey, 4th grade “I’m excited about returning to service after winter break because I believe in this Bakersville team’s ability to make a lasting impact in the lives of our students”
Jenny Woo, 3rd grade “I’m excited to come back because my students’ eagerness to become greater learners drives me and gives me joy.”
There are tough times; when a student shuts you out, or a student exhibits negative behavior. There’s also the time a student who shuts the world out lets you in, or a group of students sings to an audience of parents and staff for the first time in their lives. There are the times a student starts turning in homework or starts getting to school on time every day. There are sad stories, but hopefully, infinitely more happy ones: small successes creating future accomplishments. Most inspiring of all is the energy and enthusiasm of our young scholars at Bakersville and the world over. These experiences are the special gifts of children.