November 14, 2007
After our class discussion on Tuesday I could not help but think about myself. When we went around the room talking about what people had planned for the future ahead, I thought right away that I was truly uncertain as to what I wanted to do. I was told time and time again that I had so much time to think about my future and I did not have to rush to pick a major. When I started applying to college my way of thinking changed. I became very anxious and felt that I needed to know exactly what I wanted to do when I walked onto Loyola’s campus for the first time.
When classes began I was still undecided as to what I wanted to do with my life. Throughout my high school career I volunteered weekly at a retreat for severely disabled young adults. This service started as a requirement for confirmation but I soon fell in love with it and continued for four more years. While registering for classes at Loyola and still undecided, I chose to take an education class. Incorporated in this class is a service learning program once a week. As I began to serve the community though a form a student teaching, I found what I truly wanted to do. Like Dr. Ellis had mentioned, service played a huge role in this decision.
Just yesterday I was working one on one with a fifth grade girl, Julie, who was having trouble with her spelling list. She had been tested three times and had yet to spell the words correctly. I had watched the teacher try and explain to the class how to spell the words but after about five minutes she gave up. She could have cared less if any of the students in her class could spell. As the students sat at their desks and did their work I was told to call them one at a time and test them on their words. When it was Julie’s turn, she met me at the back table and began to spell the words on the list. Just as I had imagined, she spelled almost all of them incorrectly. After attempting to spell all ten words, she was extremely frustrated and practically in tears. To see a child like this at such a young age truly hurt. I knew I needed to do something.
Because the teacher did not come to school with all she had because, I took it upon myself to make a difference. I witnessed firsthand what can happen when one of the Jesuit ideals is not met. Each and every day this teacher solely “showed up” with no intention of making a difference. Unlike her, I sat with Julie and showed her tricks for many of the words on her list. All of my teachers had “secrets” to spelling that have stuck with me to this day and I felt blessed to be able to share them with my fifth grade class.
It was at this moment that I began to think that teaching may be something that I wish to do in the future but I was still unsure. However, before Julie went to her seat she looked me in the eye and told me how much fun she had and how she wished I taught her every day. It wasn’t until I really thought about it in class when people were sharing their stories, that this is truly what I am meant to do. It is something I love to do and from what other adults and even students have told me, it is something that I am very good at. Hopefully in the future I will be able to look back on the things from this class, such as the Jesuit ideals that we incorporate in everything we do, and bring them to my very own classroom.