AmeriCorps in Action

Mom Begins a New Chapter as Son Starts School

Guest Blog by Amy Schiemer
Reading Tutor, Farmington, Minnesota

I was a stay-at-home mom to a special needs five-year-old boy. As we got ready for him to start kindergarten, I began to wonder what was next for me. With other adults taking care of him for 7 hours a day, what was I supposed to do? Should I stay home in case something happened at school, and he needs me? Should I get a full-time job that would have me working nights or weekends away from my family? No to all of it.
During the last week of my son’s preschool, I got an email from his school with a flier attached informing me of a program called Reading Corps. I visited the program’s website and thought, “There is no way they’d hire me. I am prior active duty military that obviously had nothing to do with teaching children how to read.” Boy, was I wrong.
I filled out my application and sent in my resume, then received an email to set up a phone interview. I got the call and accepted the position. I was so excited. I am working again! I have meaning!

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, you can’t do it, you don’t think you can work with kids, or it’s going to be complicated. Just sign up! Fill out the application, do the interviews, and accept. It has been the most rewarding job I have ever had. 

I love seeing the smiles on my students’ faces, and I love being there for the ups and downs. But most importantly, I love that I get to work where my son spends the majority of his day. I get to see him in the hallways while he yells, “I love you, Ms. Schiemer!” I get to attend his classroom parties and be there for assemblies. I get to sneak lunch in with him if he is having a bad day. I have become great friends with his teachers, and I can see they give him the same attention and love he was getting for the last five years from me. I can move on from “Stay At Home Mom” and move into the new title of “Ms. Schiemer, Early Literacy Tutor.”

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