I had just finished my second phone interview with Lasallian Volunteers and was informed that I would be going to Minneapolis, MN. I was confused, and frankly, a little disappointed. On my application I checked off that my preference was placement on the East Coast. I had limited knowledge of the Midwest, with absolutely no knowledge of Minneapolis other than Ric Flair grew up somewhere nearby and your nose hair froze when you walked outside for three months of the year. Needless to say, I wanted to be placed somewhere else.
However, when I read the job description of “Learning Lab Coordinator,” my thoughts on my placement changed. If I could create my own job description at a school, it would be very similar to the description, Learning Lab Coordinator; I had in front of me. I work with students who have learning accommodations. Some of them are more difficult than others, but I’m finding that I enjoy the challenge and I’m pretty good at getting the students to listen and change their study habits.
I love the Twin Cities. They have so much more to offer than I could have ever imagined. The food is incredible, parks and greenery are all over the place, and the winter is beautiful. Living with the Brothers and the other LVs has forced me to grow as a person and made me take substantial steps in maturing as a young adult. They truly have become a second family to me. By far, my favorite part of Lasallian Volunteers is the students. They are hilarious, ambitious, and curious. I didn’t know what my ideal boss was like until I met my boss at my service site. Everything clicked into place and I fell in love with every aspect of my job. Who would have thought?
Now, I have signed up to do a second year at the same site. On a lot of social media accounts of Lasallian Volunteers include the hashtag, “IwannaLV.” So the question I find myself asking is why do I want to LV? Why did I sign up for another year? I’m sure a lot of volunteers, including myself, among other things would say, “I want to make a difference.” That’s the kicker though, I’m not sure if I am making a difference. I won’t know for years. I was discussing the idea of making a difference in a high school with my dad, who taught English for 44 years. He encouraged me, telling me that he didn’t know how much he impacted some of his students until years later, when he ran into them at the grocery store.
It can be rough. It takes a special kind of person to pursue a career in education, I’m realizing as someone who majored in economics and political science. It is a lot of groundwork, groundwork you may not necessarily get to see flourish. Students can write me notes telling me to have a good day, give me a drawing for my birthday, or invite me to their symphony orchestra concert, but that just means they like me. It doesn’t mean that I’m changing their lives for the better. I can only hope that I am making a difference, since I will only have been here for two years by the end of my placement, but that is enough for me. That hope is why I want to LV.
John Schatz is a 1st year LV serving at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is a 2015 graduate of La Salle University.