Saturday, October 22, 2016

Learning from my Students

“Miss Samantha! Miss Samantha!”
            I looked up to see my student from last week, rushing towards me with nearly palpable excitement. Her voice rang with pride as she revealed the results of a recent exam, the best she’s performed. It was incredibly rewarding to have played a role in her success, satisfying to share my love of chemistry and so very heartwarming to see pride in academic achievements. However, I couldn’t help but wonder that if she’d benefitted thus from my one session with her, how far could she, the other students, or really any of us go with individualized attention? Each of us houses such untapped potential that could be realized with timely encouragement, support, or even a simple nudge in the right direction. Extrapolating further, I wondered about the individuals whose words unknowingly turned me onto my path and whose hands propelled me through obstacles. I sincerely hope that my appreciation for their guidance is reflected in my actions, words and heart of service.
            That night, I thanked my dad for his endless support. I told him about another student earlier who had asked me “how is this going to help pay my bills?” with regards to our lesson on periodic table trends. To my chagrin, I did not have an immediate answer. I have been blessed to always have food in my stomach, clothes on my back and a warm place to sleep. How differently would I have turned out had I had monetary stressors? I still don’t have an answer. All I know is that I want to help these students discover their passions and talents, whether it’s in chemistry or elsewhere. I want to be their tutor, mentor, and maybe even friend. Most of all, I want to see more of my students take pride in their academic accomplishments until they’re literally bursting with the need for others to share in their joy.

October community service hours: 9