My name is J. E. and I was born in FL on August 25, 1985. I was adopted and became a baby sister to Jay who was 7 years old. We lived in the same house throughout my school years. As we grew up, my parents allowed my brother and me to make our own choices and never made us do anything we didn’t want to. My parents had a successful marriage and both worked in the medical field. Their careers included being a trauma nurse, instructor, teacher, paramedic, firefighter and more. They worked hard to provide my brother and me a stable environment, making sure we were always learning.Order now
From a very young age, my parents taught the growth mindset, which is discussed in Mindset by C. S. Dweck’s. Dweck (2006) explains, “growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts” (page 6). With a growth mindset, Dweck (2006) writes, “value what you are doing regardless of the outcome” (page 48). Throughout school, I always had an ambition to learn and do my best and I did value what I was doing. My parents taught Jay and me the importance of finishing school and doing your best. You can be anything you want to be,” was a phrase I heard a lot growing up and I believed it to its core. Although I strived to get all “A”’s, I did not succeed; it made me more determined to do better.
I maintained an “A”-“B”, average while also participating in school activities. I was a member of the art club, Rotary club, volleyball, softball, marching band and orchestra. In my junior year, I made a poor decision: I became pregnant. I gave the baby up for adoption to a loving family. While I had a huge support system at home, I also had one at school, in a chemistry teacher, Mrs.
Reek, who was a unique teacher that inspired her students to do their best and work hard. She was successful at motivating those in her class to learn and made it fun. Mrs. Reek truly cared about the well-being of her students and was the only teacher I had who took time from her life to call and check on me after my pregnancy. She taught me “it is normal and ok to make mistakes in life. You have to pick up the pieces and continue where you left off. ” I decided I was not going to allow my emotions of that traumatic experience to ruin my life.
I had to learn the chemistry lessons and theories on my own at home during that time. I spent hours teaching myself chemistry and made a commitment that I was going to work my hardest to get an A in the class. I wanted to prove to everyone that one bad decision didn’t make me a bad person or ruin my chance to become successful. I ended that year with an “A” in chemistry. While I was happy with my grade, I was more grateful for the support and encouragement i received from my parents but, especially Mrs. Reek.
She taught me that through life there will be struggles and you have to make your own decision to continue on your path of greatness. Mrs. Reek opened the door for me in that subject and made it so interesting and fun to learn. The only problem I had was I wanted to learn more about chemistry. As I entered college, I decided to get a Bachelors of Science, majoring in Chemistry. After I graduated, I was unsuccessful at obtaining a career in this field. A year later I met Aaron whom I loved and was to be married to. Two weeks before my wedding, my dad passed away unexpectedly.
My fiancée and I decided to continue with the wedding as planned and have the memorial service the day after. We wanted everyone who had to travel a long distance to have the opportunity to attend the wedding and memorial service. In the days leading up to the wedding and days after, I received a lot of emails, phone calls and letters; which was to be expected for someone who had just lost someone so special. What I did not expect was the kind words everyone had to say about my dad. While everyone’s memories and stories were different they all agreed on the same things, “Your dad was a great man.
He was always taking the time to teach anyone that crossed his path”. All of these people, some who I had never met before, some who had not seen my dad in decades, even some who did not have direct contact with my dad all respected him as a great man, mentor and teacher. It was in that moment that I realized I wanted to become a teacher. As a teacher I can teach the students the values and life lessons I have learned. I can expose them to the growth mindset my parents taught me. I can teach students that it is ok if they make a mistake or get discouraged.
In that moment, I can then teach them that they have the choice to re-focus, choose to do their best and make their own path of greatness. I hope to teach students that they can be anything they want to be as long as they are responsible, persistent and hard working. I want to teach math and chemistry in secondary schools. Over the years I have witnessed how hard it is for people to learn and apply the skills learned from these subjects. I have the knowledge and know how to become a successful teacher. If I can teach and inspire even a portion of the amount of people my dad did, I will be the wealthiest person in the world.
Dweck, Carol S.. Mindset: the new psychology of success. New York: Random
House, 2006. Print.