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