Love is no such definition but rather deepens through the connections that you make. I felt my love inside one 5th grade classroom. ¨Hello guys... I am Miss Angelica, and I´m here to hang out with you guys.¨ I had prepared this statement time after time, as I was entering my internship program. Wanting to become an elementary teacher, I held hopes to be placed at my old elementary school, Westmoor Elementary. I was able to work one on one with students, problem-solve, and simply was there to show love and support for them. Entering the final weeks of my internship, it was time to be in fifth grade. Unsure of what class I wanted to observe, Mrs. Luehrs my supervisor, immediately told me, ¨Go to Mrs. Schwartz´s class, you´ll make an impact there¨. Right when I stepped into her classroom, all the students gravitated towards me. They circled me and expressed I was ¨the coolest high schooler ever!¨ Soon they called me their “best friend” and showed excitement when I arrived. Or when unable to arrive, they complained and asked all the teachers where I was. I soon learned all of their favorite hobbies, favorite subjects, their crushes, and what they were hoping to get for Christmas. As days continued, I grew a strong love for these kids. The best part of my day was going to my internship to see them. The thing is I never had met any of these kids before I had started my internship, yet it felt as if I had been a part of their entire educational journey. Hugs each day and them screaming, ¨We love you Miss Angelica!, ¨ as they head out of the classroom. Each day, I had the same routine. Arrive at the classroom at 2:00 pm. join in with their math projects, talk to them about their day, head to PE, music, or library with them, come back to their class, and prepare to send them home. It´s a simple routine yet I wouldn't have traded it for the world. As first semester was ending, I had to break the horrible news my internship would be ending. With confusion and sadness, my students pleaded me to not leave them. As my last day got closer and closer, I began receiving letters and gifts from the entire fifth-grade class. Sadness hit me, never did I think I would be so sad to leave my internship. But this was more than an internship it was the start of the relationships with wonderful students. On my last day, I spoke to Mrs. Luehrs, asking ¨Why is it so hard to leave?¨ She instantly replied, ¨Your love Angelica, the love you had for these students.¨ She began stating, this group of students faced a lot of obstacles outside of school and at times needed support. From the first day, you started with them, you greeted them with a smile and showed you wanted to be a part of their lives. On my journey of becoming an educator, I plan to be there. Once my students enter my room, it will be an environment of love and support. I am determined to establish one on one time with all of my students, making it known they have someone who is invested in their life. One on one time, of meeting with each of my students weekly, providing advice and personal goals that I will help them accomplish. I want my students and their families to understand I am available, beyond my role as an educator. My love started with a simple smile.
Love Is Kind
by Ethan Reichman
Love is kind. Sometimes people misunderstand this phrase. We all strive to have love in our lives in one way or another. Love can be beautiful and exciting and everything the movies tell you it is, but love can also be hard and exhausting. It can keep you up at night. Love is doing not only what is easy but also what is hard for people you love. Then your love is kind, because when you have love for someone or something, you will do anything for what you love. When you are willing to do difficult things for the sake of someone else, your love is kind.
I am an athlete and have always been one of my school’s top performers. I go to a small public school in western Nebraska. We do not have hundreds of students wanting to play sports. We do not hold tryouts to make the team. I have played sports with a teammate who is a grade below me in school. He has some intellectual challenges and spends most of his day in the special-education room, but he has always loved to play sports and is very athletic. On our junior-high football team, I was the quarterback. He was the running back. He always had difficulty remembering the plays and which direction to go because he struggled with knowing his left from his right. I could see that my teammates and coaches were frustrated, and I realized that I needed to find a way to help him be successful without pointing out his weaknesses to anyone else. I got him two shoestrings—one yellow and one blue—for his cleats to help him remember his directions. Whenever we broke the huddle, you would have seen me talking to him one-on-one to make sure he knew what his expectation was each time. All I had to say was blue for plays to the right and yellow for plays to the left.
I have had plenty of personal athletic achievements throughout my career, but my biggest success was helping a teammate do what he loves to do against all odds. It wasn’t always easy to put in the extra effort for him, but I always acted with patience, love, and kindness. I still go to school and play sports with this teammate. I have watched him grow tremendously from the beginner who didn’t know his left from his right into the athlete he is today. My act, taken out of love and kindness, is by far the accomplishment of my athletic career I treasure the most.
I plan to go to college to become an elementary school teacher. I have been a teacher’s aide in the first-grade room at my school for the past two years and have discovered a passion for teaching young children. I will use love and kindness to help our youth advance intellectually, personally, and emotionally. I want to do everything in my power to set my students up for success. Our youth are the future, and I want to help mold them into the people that our world needs them to be. Each child, no matter his or her situation, deserves love and kindness; I want nothing more than to give that to them. I want to make a difference. Teaching young children and giving them the love and kindness they all deserve is the way I plan to make my contribution.