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Americorps Week

Americorps Great Stories: Johnae McGee

Teacher Spotlight / March 13, 2024
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Impact of AmeriCorps 

Every March AmeriCorps programs around the country celebrate AmeriCorps week! This is a time to reflect on and celebrate the impact these programs are having on our communities. At its heart, AmeriCorps is all about service. That is why we are proud for our residency program to be an AmeriCorps program. Individuals looking to join the classroom can earn their teacher certification while also making a big impact in their communities. Each AmeriCorps member brings their perspective and experience to the school they serve, and we are excited to highlight their experiences on our blog! 

 

What brings people to service

Our AmeriCorps members come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of our members have grown up in the communities we serve, and for others, an experience in their own education experience drove them to teach. For Johnae, it was her experience working with youth that got her interested in education. “What brought me into the education field is seeing so many teenagers who did not have the guidance or educational resources given to them at a young age.” 

 

After seeing so many patients struggle, Johnae knew she had to do something to help. “At the psychiatric center I worked at, I saw children wanting to give up on education because they weren’t able to do basic math. I would help patients that did not understand and direct them where to start on their work.” These simple encounters began to form a pattern. “I found myself leading and doing a lot of teaching and [encouragement]. Over time, I fell in love with helping in that aspect–helping youth fall in love with learning.” 

 

The reward of service

Now Johnae is finishing up her first year with The Educator Academy’s residency program. This year of service involves earning her teaching certification while also serving with a mentor teacher in a classroom 4 days a week. Now that she is in the classroom and made that transition to education, she knows it’s the right fit for her. “I’ve learned that being an educator means that you are more than just a teacher.” Being in the classroom means you are a teacher, but you are also a support person and more.”

 

Each person’s AmeriCorps year service comes with many rewarding experiences. For Johnae, her top rewarding moments are with her students. “It’s rewarding to have a student-run up to you and hug you or say they have missed me. That has been the most rewarding thing because it makes me feel like I am doing something right.” While teaching can have its hard moments, the positive experiences keep her going. “[Building connection with a student] inspires me when I feel like sometimes I want to give up in this field or when I am having a hard time. Just to see a student smile every day and give you a warm hug is the best experience.” 

 

Join AmeriCorps. 

You too can make a difference in the classroom! By joining our teacher residency program, you can earn your teacher certification while serving in the classroom with AmeriCorps. 

Apply to our Teacher Residency