Generation Citizen (GC) Democracy Coaches (DCs) are much more than college volunteers.
DCs are dedicated and energetic leaders who are committed to extending their learning and influence beyond their college campuses, as they spend a semester or more coaching students in utilizing their own voices to drive civic change.
As a Democracy Coach, you commit to approximately 6-8 hours per week:
- Leading two 60 minute lessons per week for one semester in a local school that engages students in GC’s action civics curriculum. Your actual class length may vary slightly based on the school. You’ll also spend 15-45 minutes traveling to/from your school.
- Adapting and preparing GC’s standard lesson plans. GC provides you with a standard curriculum and action project resources. However, it’s your responsibility to work with your co-DC (if you have one) and teacher to ensure the lessons address your students’ ability and interests. The lessons become less structured over time as students pick their issue and plan their action. You must conduct outside research on your students’ action project. A successful DC spends at least one hour preparing for each lesson.
- Engaging in weekly, one hour chapter meetings on your college campus. These meetings are a time for you to learn and share best practices, trouble-shoot challenges, and prepare for upcoming lessons alongside other students from your college who are also participating in GC.
- Participating in at least two 15 minute brainstorming sessions with GC staff after they observe you and your class in action. This is a chance for you to receive personalized support and to ask us questions for greater impact.
- Engaging in one weekend training at the start of the semester to build your teaching and advocacy skills. Training typically takes place within the first month of each academic semester.
- Encouraging your students at Civics Day, and supporting all students, whether they win awards or not, in enjoying and learning from the experience.
- Appreciating your work at an end of the semester celebration for our volunteers. We know that being a DC isn’t easy. It takes commitment and we want to thank you!
GC is one of the few programs that allows college students to co-lead an actual classroom. Thus, our selection process is competitive, and our DCs are dedicated and accomplished students with:
- Civic and Advocacy Interest Expertise. DCs are interested or have experience in working within the community to make change. They use this experience to motivate their students.
- Academic Excellence. DCs work hard academically and serve as strong role models for our young learners in GC classrooms.
- Flexibility and Positive Attitudes. Working in a classroom is challenging. DCs anticipate and embrace the hard work required of them, knowing that the ability to weather the roller coaster of the classroom with a smile will lead to positive results for their students.
- Growth-Oriented Mindsets. DCs learn much on the job and embrace new challenges with reflection, a solutions-oriented attitude, and a commitment to improving their performance.
- A Commitment to Service. GC is a semester-long experience with lifelong ramifications. Our DCs are committed to working to end educational and political inequity in this country.
Generation Citizen is not your typical campus organization. DCs gain significant experience in peer leadership, local politics, and classroom management and develop hosts other high-valued professional skills!
- Project management. Think about your students and class as your project team. You’ll keep them on track, support them by providing research guidance, and celebrate their successes. You’ll manage partnerships with your classroom teacher and local experts on your focus issue. You’ll also practice coaching and facilitating skills every day you’re in the classroom.
- Public speaking. Gain confidence speaking with diverse audiences. You will be leading two class sessions a week for 15-30 students. You will conduct presentations or workshops for your peers in chapter meetings. There may also be opportunities to speak at Civics Day in front of hundreds of your city’s students and political leaders.
- Real in-class teaching. You will work at the front of the classroom alongside a full-time teacher to guide students in their daily lessons, developing your presence and facilitation skills in order to drive your students’ learning.
- Collaboration. You will work in partnership with a diverse array of people, including secondary students, other college students, public school teachers, coalition members, community leaders, and GC staff.
- Political advocacy. You will learn the intricacies of local governmental structures and processes and will lead your students in strategically planning and executing grassroots campaigns.
- Networking. You will arrange guest speakers for your class, develop strong relationships with other campus organizations and nonprofits, and interact with local leaders at GC events. Former DCs have gone on to teach, attend law school, or start their own nonprofits, and even run for office, among many other pursuits. GC staff and teachers often serve as references for job and internship opportunities.