By Ryan Leboeuf
When I was a freshman, I was desperate in searching for a work study job. Fortunately, I got hired to work at Brookings Elementary School for their America Reads Program. This program was during school hours where you help tutor and mentor the students. I worked there for all four years and made countless memories working with over 100 students. This job was about a lot more than a paycheck, it was about showing dignity, discipline, and empathy. During my first three years, I predominantly helped out in a 5th grade classroom. Mr. Moore taught the class and he was a passionate teacher who liked to use sports to motivate his students academically. For an example, I remember proctoring the last session of an MCAS test and I told the kids beforehand that this is a lot like the last day of tryouts for sports where you have to give it all you have. Mr. Moore acknowledged that he liked the comparison since he is an avid sports fan. A couple of my favorite memories here including people at the school calling me “Mr. Ryan” and some of the kids urging me to go to Cheney Hall at 5 o’clock so they can see me at the dining hall while they were eating during the Partners Program. This was funny because the Brookings students would yell to get my attention when they saw me there.
The final year of my work study I was able to work in the student support office. This was fun because I had the pleasure of working with other interns and I was able to make new friends. This was more challenging because myself and the other interns work with students in all grade levels that usually had disciplinary problems in the classroom. The administrators at the school were great to work for and kept us busy by checking in on other classrooms for support. Perhaps my favorite part of the job was helping the kids with autism during their indoor recess. I have a brother who works with the same type of kids as a Behavioral Therapist and I was able to receive some advice from him. This was very self-fulfilling.
I would like to thank the staff, students and my co-workers that were involved in my four years at Brookings Elementary School. I’m going to miss having conversations with the kids whether it was about school or sharing their stories about video games (especially Fortnite). I have learned that a lot of the students having to overcome many hardships that I did not have to experience growing up. I am saddened that this was my last year at this job, but I am lucky to have obtained this position for the last four years.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Leboeuf