Chelsea Smith had just started an intro to education course at Normandale Community College when she first heard about Reading Corps. Her professor had briefly mentioned it, explaining that a student had served in the past.
From the beginning, Chelsea’s interest was sparked. “I think what was most exciting was that I would have experience in a school before I even finished my teaching degree,” she says. “A lot of people don’t get that opportunity.”
After starting her service at Four Seasons A+ Elementary in St. Paul, Chelsea quickly realized that this was the perfect opportunity for a future educator. While serving, she learned how to teach each individual student based on their needs – a skill that is difficult to grasp when in a full classroom. She also made valuable connections with students, other tutors, teachers and administrators.
Through her service, Chelsea became more confident, built valuable skills to use in her future classroom and discovered she liked being part of a larger movement working for change. “I’ve never really had that before. I truly felt like I was a part of something, working towards a greater goal.”
To those who are considering service, Chelsea believes that it is important to be confident in yourself and your abilities. It can seem daunting at first, but I promise everything falls into place once you’re in the school and meeting students. It’s all worth it.”
After a year of service, Chelsea began her first year as a teacher at Four Seasons A+ Elementary School in September 2019. We are so proud of her!