When I took on Homework Club, the primary incentive was because our kids deserved a familiar and structured place to work, learn, play and eat; this program has become an essential part of their lives and I knew we needed to maintain it for their sake. But in the hustle and bustle of getting it up and running again, learning all of the ins and outs and just trying to keep our heads above water, I didn’t stop to consider the impact it would have on me, as an educator and a human being.
As a counsellor at Britannia, I have a specific caseload that I work on, about 150 students, who I try very hard to maintain connections with. Because of the social-emotional demands of this work, we are often not able to spend time with students beyond that purview. The highlights of a caseload mean that I know exactly who to support and how, but the downfalls are that I often don’t get to experience so many other fascinating personalities and passionate youth at our school – Homework Club has created that opportunity for me. It has been such a joy to be able to walk down the hallways and say hello to so many more students, to check-in on them about that test they were studying for, to have them wave at me when I come to visit their teacher.
I have loved getting to learn about them not just at students, but human beings themselves who love video games, can’t live without Siracha on everything, and are determined to beat our tutors in chess by the end of 2019. They are thoughtful young people who are curious about you and getting to know themselves better and commit to the value of connection every single time they walk through the door at Homework Club. It’s a true blessing to spend time with them and discover more of who they are and who they want to become.
~ Kaitlee Simonson