So You Want to Read a Novel?

Well you've come to the right place today :)
My wonderful/beautiful/smart blog BFF, Meg, suggested that I share something with you guys. 

In order to get accepted into my graduate program, I had to write a personal statement.
I had never written one before so I originally ended up word-vomiting a lot onto my Microsoft Word screen. I then went on to send Meg an email asking her to please help me revise & edit it. My good friend, Kelsey, also chimed in! This is what we came up with:

From the day that I could talk, I vividly remember playing school in my Grandma’s living room. I lined up my stuffed animals and looked into their plastic eyes, eager for the day that they would be replaced with the eyes of hopeful children. As I grew older and started school, my love for education continued to grow. Waking up and having the privilege to learn became a passion of mine; Monday mornings could not come quick enough. I grew older, graduated high school, and went on to my freshman year at the University of South Florida. As I sit here writing my personal statement to apply for the Master of Arts in Teaching Elementary Education/ESOL program, I cannot help but be swept away by emotion, because a love for education has always been rooted deep within me.

At first, the majority of my family and friends were not too keen on the idea of me becoming a teacher. They told me that I was business-oriented and had too much to offer the corporate world to go into education. This caused me to struggle in choosing a major. My entire undergraduate career I battled with myself. I did not want to let my parents down, as they were paying for my undergraduate degree, but I knew that my heart belonged in the classroom. Now that they have seen that my love for education has endured over time and has been displayed in many areas of my life, my family and friends cannot see me pursuing anything but teaching.

Because my heart was not in what I was studying, my undergraduate GPA is not the most accurate depiction of my work. I persevered through my classes, unwilling to give up even though the program did not feel like a true fit for me. I completed my studies and received my bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. After graduation, I sat at my dining room table weighing the possible job options that lay before me. No matter how high the starting pay was or how appealing the benefits were, I just could not bring myself to apply for any of them. I sat in tears, knowing that my heart was never going to let go of the desire to teach.

Between tears I reminisced about volunteering at a local summer camp program. Interacting with the children each day was something that excited me and kept me motivated. I remember a little girl running up behind me, gently tugging the tail of my shirt, proudly showing me a copy of The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Her smile stretched from ear to ear as these words spilled from her mouth, “Miss Venoy, I did it! I read the entire book all by myself!” That little girl and I had been practicing her independent reading skills all summer and to see her reach her goal was remarkable.

My mind then wandered to the three months that I headed up the elementary school program at my church. When the children’s pastor moved away, I was asked to fill in until the new pastor arrived. The church elders told me that I had a gift with children; I could connect with them and understand them. Despite the challenges that these months brought, they were three of the most rewarding months of my life. Not only was I given the opportunity to teach these kids and have the joy of seeing the light bulb go off when they grasped something new, but I learned so much from every single one of them. They kept me grounded; they taught me that little things are what make life worth living; they inspired me.

I am applying for this program, because I believe that if your heart is telling you to do something you should do it. I want to be the best-equipped teacher that I can possibly be. My desire is to have a positive impact on children and show them that they are incredible and exactly what this world needs. I want to do everything in my power to enhance how curriculum is taught and help diminish the achievement gap. If I am admitted into the program my creativity, content knowledge, drive and encouraging nature will make a difference in the lives of my cohort, my future students, and even my academic elders. I look forward to my passion and determination being used to better Florida’s education system. 

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I'm going to bring Smell the Roses back once I'm settled in my new apartment :)
Happy Monday!



  1. Teaching is seriously the best job in the world.... I could not imagine doing anything else with my life! I definitely feel the most alive when I am standing in front of my kids. While it is taxing and exhausting... it is so incredibly rewarding.

    Best of luck to you!

  2. I love this! It's so great that you can be so passionate about this, and that you're going to be doing what you love!

  3. Love this! You have such a great writing style! Can't wait to hear about your new adventure :)

  4. Very well said! I am happy that you know what you need to do and you're making it happen. Can't wait for the return of smell the roses!

  5. Exactly what I needed to see this morning as I am waiting in line for the copier muttering curses under my breath.

    Love you, love this, cant wait for you to start these next two chapters of your life!!!!!!!!!!!

    And might I just give myself/ yourself a pat on the back... its nice to edit someones paper and then see the changes... ie 8th graders don't always like to make the changes!


  6. I loved this, Jessica! You write so beautifully and it flows so well! Teaching is probably the most rewarding profession, as you really are creating all the future professions. It's an amazing feeling when you see a student understand something they didn't think they could... good luck!


  7. what a well written story! so glad you shared it and so happy you are following your heart!!

  8. YAY! This has totally helped remind me of why I decided to get my degree in teaching! I can't wait to have my very own classroom one day! :)

  9. This is so well-written, my love. It's simply beautiful, and your true passion is finally being shared on the blog. Finally. You are an amazing addition that program, and you're going to do wonderful things through it. I love you so much, and I'm proud of you!

  10. AH-mazing statement my love!! Seriously, I love how you turned your experience with teaching into lessons and stories of passion!! You're sharing with the University your passion, yet sharing what you have learned from it that can highlight your strength in teaching already!! Well written and I can feel your passion through your statement! Good luck and keep us filled in!!

    Love ya girl!! xxo, Bev

  11. Girl I LOVE this. Especially this line "..I believe that if your heart is telling you to do something you should do it." <--- that is amazing and true :)

    Love you!

  12. This is great, Jessica! Awesome job. It made me want to accept you into the program. :)

  13. Such a well written personal statement Jessica!! I'm so happy you're chasing your dream and it's really inspiring me to want to find my own! Someday... sigh. haha

  14. Beautiful. You have a good heart. You will do amazing things in a classroom. It is an exhausting job but incredibly rewarding. I know someone already said that but it's really true!

  15. I love this! Ever since I was little I would play school with my stuffed animals and I've always wanted to be a school teacher. But I'm majoring in business management (which I still love) but sometimes I do wish I was an Education major. I have such a strong desire to teach and to change students' lives!
    Have you ever heard of Teach for America? It is an amazing program that I want to do after I graduate! You teach at underprivileged schools and you change lives!! Here is the link if you want to know more: http://www.teachforamerica.org/
    Seriously SO inspiring and and amazing program!

  16. This turned out great and VERY inspiring! You are going to be a great teacher.

  17. What a beautiful statement Jess!! Im so proud of you for following your heart, and Im so excited for the path you're taking! My mom is a teacher in CT and she gets paid pretty bomb for having her masters. My sister is a teacher but is also business minded, so she hopes to move up in administration. Anyway... so inspired by you!

  18. Love this! As a teacher, I can jut see the beginnings of a great teacher here! I am so excited for you! Teaching is a great profession nada really great ministry too! Also really glad OT hear that smell the roses will make come back!

    Payin for you as you start all these new thing in you life!


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