Compared to my first year as a Lasallian Volunteer, I can say that the second year definitely has a different feel. As a first-year volunteer I struggled a lot with finding my place, what to do, where to go, and felt I had a hard time with my classroom management skills. Learning from first-hand experience—the successes and challenges of what works best for my students and what doesn’t—during the first year, I was able to gain a lot of knowledge. Now as a second-year, it is putting that knowledge into practice. I can say, I most definitely know my way around the school and know exactly where to be and where to go, no questions asked. Since I already know the majority of my students, I am a lot more at ease when it comes to working with them because I know the various personalities and what works best in the classroom. As a second-year volunteer, there are still challenges that exist and will pop up but I have gained a lot more confidence in myself when it comes to handling them and learning from these challenges. The reason I decided to return is because I truly felt it was not the time to leave yet. During my first year, relationships with both my students and the people I work with were just being created. I was not ready to end those relationships but wanted to foster them even more. Time has already flown by and as it is slowly creeping into the next year, things feel a bit bittersweet. Throughout this last year, I just want to enjoy the time I have with my students and people I have met throughout my time here. I want to leave here feeling I gave my all and did everything in my being to be of service to both La Salle Academy and my students.
Davina Runkaputi is a second-year volunteer serving at La Salle Academy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she serves as an assistant art teacher and tutor. She is a 2018 graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, with a degree in anthropology and ethnic studies.