University: Christian Brothers University- Memphis, TN
What do you do? At St. Cecilia’s I do many, many things. My technical position is “Resource Teacher and Teacher’s Aide for PreK- 8th Grades,” which includes anything from taking a student out of the classroom so they have a quiet, non-distracting place to work on an assignment, to creating spelling units for middle school. I also do other things around the school too, such as co-teach 7th grade typing and 6-8th grades Speech enrichment classes. I monitor Accelerated Reading program, spelling, and study halls for 6-8th grade. Some of the fun additions to what I do is coaching the 6-8th volleyball team and 6-8th Girls on the Run team.
Why did you choose to become a Lasallian Volunteer? Have your hopes about the Program been realized?
My plan in college had been to finish my undergraduate degree, continue straight through for my masters degree, and then (hopefully) find a job teaching in an elementary school in the Catholic School System in Memphis. While in my junior year at Christian Brothers University a few of the brothers started telling me about the Lasallian Volunteer program. They told me that they thought I would make a good LV, and the more I heard about the program, the more I wanted in. Now I think that this is the place I was meant to be.
It is such a blessing to be in a program with a network of other 1st/2nd year teachers around the country. It’s comforting to know that we are in similar situations and can support each other in our service and in our community lives, Not to mention the network of brothers with experience and wisdom to share from many years of doing these same things. I have learned more than I could have dreamed of about teaching, living in community and interacting with different people, lifestyles, and cultures.
What is the most important “thing,” that you think your students need from you? What do you do to try to provide this?
I think the most important “thing” I do for my students is just to be present and to be willing to push them to be better. A lot of my students have the tendency to give up, or to try and get someone to give them the answers when things start to get hard. I like to find new ways of explaining to them how they can figure out a solution to their problems. I don’t allow my students to say things like “I don’t get this,” “I just won’t do this,” or “I’ll never be able to do this.” I push them to learn how to ask the right question so that they can start to learn to solve their own problems, but also when it’s the right time to ask for help.
Service is the most important value of the three for me, probably because I find the other two (faith and community) through service. Since joining the program, I have been able to serve in many different communities, at school, at home, in our neighborhood, and even groups that come through for short periods of time to serve in my neighborhood. I have been able to share my faith journey with the different people I meet and grow in my own personal faith.
How would you like to continue your involvement with the Lasallian family after your time with the Lasallian Volunteers?
I have been so blessed ever since I entered the “LV world.” I have met some amazing people from students, to brothers, to my fellow LVs. I entered this program not knowing where it would take me. I’ve had the opportunity to travel from one coast to the other, and many places in between. I have shared experiences with some amazing people. Most recently, I have been fortunate enough to have been awarded the LV Scholar scholarship at Christian Brothers University, so that I can get a Master of Arts in Teaching and continue the work that I have started while being a Lasallian Volunteer.