December 12, 2014

Week 10: Wait...What?

While I had every intention of writing about my experiences every week, here we are at Week 10. The final week. So what happened? Well, life happened.

I intended this blog to be a true-life representation of what it's like to teach for Citizen Schools. And as it turns out, it is more real than I thought it would be. Time flies by. You're juggling work and family and holidays and all of life's other events and yet you still find the time to be there once a week for your students. Some days you have no idea how you'll get it all done, but you do. Because you know the kids are counting on you. One week flows into the next and the next thing you know it's week 10 and you're excited for the WOW! (the final presentation to family & friends).

Last night was our WOW! Seeing families and friends milling around to see all the great work the students have done is such a joy to watch. The students standing in front of their work, talking proudly about what they've learned, answering questions from the visitors strolling by. There's no way to feel anything but pride. The students have learned so much. Frankly, more than you ever thought they would. Only because you were scared they would even care about what you're teaching. But they do. And a big piece of that is because they can tell you care about what you're teaching. And that you care about them.

So what advice do I have for people considering teaching for Citizen Schools? Think about what you love, what makes you happy, to what do you already give your time? What if you could share that? Would sharing it bring you joy? I say you and not "a child" because every child loves to be taught something that an adult is passionate about. That's just a given. The love and attention you bring to that time with a child is something they'll never forget.

If you're thinking about teaching, I encourage you to go to the Citizen Schools website and look at the already built curricula. These are classes that are ready to teach tomorrow. There are over 60 classes from songwriting to forensics. But maybe you're an expert in Indian Classical Dance and there's no class built for that. Can you build your own? Probably, but your local Citizen Schools team can help you.

Teaching for Citizen Schools has changed my life in a way I never expected. I am more grateful, more humble, more patient and more fulfilled than I was before. I just finished my third apprenticeship and I know I'll teach a fourth. What will you teach?