The two years I served at Great Oaks Bridgeport were great. I enjoyed having the opportunity to work with the students to get them a step closer to grade level and build relationships with them. I had many opportunities to interact with them outside of the classroom as well. I helped with recess my first year, and I was one of the flag football coaches both years. By the time I finished my second year, it felt like we family or friends (Make sure there are boundaries because it is easier to hold them accountable when you do).
Now, that did not mean that every day was easy. With middle schoolers being middle school, they would test their limits. I definitely had to show a great deal of patience while I trying to hold them accountable. Other times, they were having problems outside of school and it was hard to get through a lesson, but I had to be understanding of their situation. So, there were definitely some harder days, but I am appreciative of those days because I was able to grow from them because of the students.
I also enjoyed my time with the other tutors and staff. We participated in professional developments together. We hung out after school. As a tutor corps member, I lived with other tutors. Because we spent so much time with each other, I had closer relationships with them than I did with other co-workers from previous jobs. I feel those close relationship we had with each other allowed us to be a support system for each other whenever there were changes or whenever we had a rough day.
Of course, I managed to make time for myself. I like to travel, so I would go different places. I visited different places in Connecticut. I drove to Montreal once. I drove to Boston a few times to watch the Celtics and Red Sox play. Even if I could not afford to go out of town, I would drive around Bridgeport and the nearby towns. Being able to travel helped me relax, so I could be the best I could be at the school.