Looking back on my AmeriCorps year with Mano en Mano, I realized that my position barely resembled the position in which I had started. Programs changed, people were moved around, and when the dust settled, the service I was doing was different than before. I ended up forging a new position, taking on some of the old responsibilities such as helping with the English language learning students in the Kindergarten classroom, and combining them with new tasks, such as working with Juana Rodriguez to create bilingual children’s programming at the library.
At first, I was apprehensive about the significant change, but I am thankful to have had the chance to create a position that developed my skills and interests in a variety of areas. I had the unique opportunity of learning how to help adults learn best, and then later in my year work more in depth with the Kindergarteners and preschool aged children, who learn in a much different fashion than adults. Additionally, while working on library programming, I had a chance to explore lesson planning, community outreach and collaboration.
While this year wasn’t what I was expecting, it helped me realize that in the future, I would like to work with English Language Learners, either adults or children, and now I have the foundation to do so.
Contributed by Kate Brinks, our Americorps member who just finished her year of service. Thanks, Kate!