A Literacy First Tutor’s Favorite Things

By Rachel Peterson, 2019-2020 Literacy First Tutor

My Team

By the end of our Pre-Service Training, I had interacted with as many of the 50+ Literacy First AmeriCorps members as I could. The 2nd/3rd year leaders were stationed around the room with signage to welcome their new crews. My name was called with three members that I have not yet met. Enter a 2nd year member with her head on her shoulders, but still uncertain about the future, a recent college graduate headed to med school after the program, a high school graduate with some grand ideas and a sweet heart, and me. I wasn’t sure how we would get along or where the team would lead us, but this experience has led me to becoming friends with folks that I may never have met before.

Rachel and her Literacy First teammates.
Literacy First tutors and friends.

The Support from Literacy First Leadership

I feel a great privilege to be working so closely with the Supervisors and staff members in Literacy First. It is a smaller organization, so it is possible to get to know the leaders in ways that make me feel grateful for their mentorship. My Campus Supervisor, Jason, has been understanding in times of need, supportive in times of doubt, and a reference for teaching jobs! He has really connected our team and made us feel at ease throughout the entire process.

My Kids, Obviously!

I love every single one of them. They are the real reason that I show up to work every single day. Their laughter is the best medicine; their smiles melt my heart. I truly feel like I am showing up just to see their little faces (and help them read, of course!).

Decorating the Tutoring Space

I get to decorate! This is an untapped passion of mine, and I have so much fun decorating our room in fun ways to reflect our excitement for teaching the kiddos. I just created a giant rainbow and a community from the drawings that our kids made during our middle-of-year testing.

Community Partnerships

I have connected with some really, really cool partnerships. It has been wonderful to develop professional relationships with Bliss Kid Yoga, Mindfulness AISD, Inside Books Project, Creative Arts AISD, ACE, Coats for Kids, and AYAVA. I wouldn’t have found these or sought them out without the inspiration of Literacy First.

My Confidence

Yes! I felt pretty unsure going into this process, but now I feel like I know exactly what I am doing and how to best serve my kiddos. I feel confident setting boundaries, asking for what I need and for help, seeking out positions of leadership within the program, and believing that I am capable of achieving what I set my mind to achieve. I have learned a lot about how I operate in a professional setting with team goals and projects.