3rd Quarter, 2007
Minority Scholarship Winner
I am currently enrolled at Northwest Vista College and am pursuing my Associates Degree in Teaching. Upon graduation, my plan is to continue my education and obtain a Bachelors Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (EC- 4th Grade). Naturally, as I get closer to my goal, I know that I am moving in the right direction. For, I most surely have the spirit and the passion to teach. This profession is a part of me and I know it because I have been teaching, unknowingly, since I was a kid myself! It has been a part of me for so long. In any case, as a teacher, I will be given the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society – in ways both obvious and obscure.
A Portion of Jeannett’s Winning Essay:
It was March, cool and wet in South Texas. I was ten years of age, biting my nails, eyes shifting between the entrance of the Hospital waiting room, the clock and the nervous expressions upon my older brother and sisters faces. None of us were talking and the T.V. volume was low enough, that the sound of shuffling feet and muffled voices could easily be heard. Somewhere, in the Hospital, a child was throwing a tantrum and at this point, I wondered how much more I could take. An hour had passed since we last heard from somebody. I was beginning to worry.
As I nervously looked about the room, past the many magazines I flipped through before, I noticed a water fountain and decided that maybe I was thirsty afterall. The cold water soothed my parched throat and I thought that at any minute, someone was going to come and give us news. I sat back down, looked at the clock, and it was 2:36. I began to nervously shift in my chair, until my older brother told me to quick moving around so much and to just relax. Everything was going to be okay, he said.
I could feel my eyes watering up a bit. I didnt want to cry. I didnt. Not here, not now. I was the one who was so excited for this day to come. Now, all I wanted was to go back in time and forever stall this moment from ever happening. It was now 3:15. I had passed the time by going up and down the elevator a few times. I never did get in trouble. Not a single person asked me questions and I had told my siblings that I was going to the restroom. Which I did….briefly. But, just to splash water on my face like they did in the movies.
Feeling much better from my little escapade, I took my chair again and began cracking my knuckles. Than I heard a familiar voice and it brought such warmth and joy into the room, my heart leaped into my throat. It was my dad! And based upon the look on his face, he had come to bring us all very good news! All four of us gathered around him and we all began asking questions at once. He smiled at us, happy tears in his eyes and he spoke. He said, “Mama is going to be okay. There were a few complications. Her blood pressure rose quite high and she claimed she loss her vision for awhile. All that is under control now and she’ll have to be monitored for the next 48 hours. But, your mom is going to be just fine. Dont any of you worry.”
Upon hearing the news, we began to jump up and down in sheer joy! Our mother was having severe complications with her chronic high blood pressure and she had to be hospitalized for weeks. It was always tough to visit her at the Hospital. She looked sad sometimes and she told us that she longed to be at home and we would tell her that we longed for her to be back at home too. Plus, we would exclaim to her, “Dad isnt the greatest cook in the world Mom! He’s made the smoke alarm go off more times than we can count. And he’s not good at washing clothes either. Mama, he has bleached our blue jeans!” Mom would laugh at all of Dad’s domestic mistakes. But, she loved it most of all when we would come over and tell her about our day.
Just than, my dad broke up my thoughts and I heard him say, ” And guess what everyone? Ya’ll are going to have a baby sister!!” How we all jumped up and down for joy! It was the greatest news we had ever heard! All those hours, waiting and worrying, were beginning to be worth it many times over. And we hugged, we laughed and we cried. What a day in March, that I would never forget!
A couple weeks later, our mother and new baby sister were allowed to come home. And when my mother walked through the door, I felt whole again. And when I looked at my new baby sister and touched her smooth, soft cheeks, I told myself,” I’m going to be the best big sister I can possibly be. I’m going to try, you’ll see.” And I felt that deep within my heart. I was going to teach her things, I told myself. I was going to guide her and protect her. I was going to teach her how to fly a kite and ride a bike. And when she claimed that monsters were underneath her bed, I wasnt going to go searching for them because I’ll tell her that monsters dont exist. We’ll make cookies together and she could possibly help me when my school teacher gave me science experiments. The more and more I thought up of all these bright ideas, the more I couldnt wait for her to grow up! I just knew that the possibilities were going to be endless!
And as the years rolled by and by, I was living up to my word. At the age of two and a half, I began to teach her manners, colors, shapes and I would constantly read to her. She picked up everything quite fast for her age and she had a hunger for learning. She would bring me her books and ask me to read and if I was busy doing my homework, I’d put it aside for awhile and read her a book by Dr. Seus or some other brilliant Author. She especially loved it when I would disguise my voice, with each character in the book. She would giggle and say,” That’s so funny!”
When I was 14 and she was 4, I could talk to her about my day and she would earnestly say,” I liked your day. And my day was good too. Mama let me have walnuts and gummy bears and Scooby licked my toes.” She was always saying the cutest things and one day I told her so. When I did one day, she smiled and said,” I’m not cute. Pirates aren’t supposed to be cute.” And she took out her make believe sword and say,” Lead me to the treasure you scoundrel!” And, of course, we’d play a make believe game of Pirates.
Little did I know that my little baby sister was going to change my path in life forever! It hit me like a ton of bricks oneday! She was 5 years of age and I was teaching her how to recognize some of the letters of the alphabet and she looked at me and said,” Can you be my teacher in Kindergarten? I laughed at her and proudly said,” I dont want to be a Teacher silly. I want to be a Marine Biologist.” She was puzzled and hurt and she said,” I dont know what that is and I dont think it’s you Jeannett.” And she threw down her alphabet cards and left the room crying.
I was dumbfounded. I was shocked. And I was wondering why she was so hurt. And when I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. Maybe, I should be a Teacher! I mean, I did have a passion to teach! I found joy in it! It fulfilled me somehow and I realized that I loved coming up with creative and fun ways to teach about shapes, numbers, the alphabet, and opposites. And how I loved making educational board games and educational games in general.
Maybe, I had found my gift in life afterall! And perhaps, my mom was right too. She once told me, “Jeannett! I dont know how you do it. But, you are a natural!” And I thought back to everything I had ever taught my little baby sister and how I felt when I was teaching her. It never brought me stress. I never became frustrated. I had tons of patience and I found ways to teach her, that it didnt even seem as if I was actually teaching her because I had found brilliant ways to make learning fun! For crying out loud, I thought to myself, she can name all of the Presidents in order!!! She even knows all the Capitals to every State in this great Nation of ours! She could recite plenty of Rhymes, she knew the Star Spangled Banner and she even knew how to add and subtract and she wasnt even in Kindergarten yet!
I decided to find my sister and when I found her, she apologized and said,” You could be a manner-bine-ogist.” I laughed and said, “It’s marine biologist and I’m not going to be one. I think I may want to become Teacher!” She hugged me and than said,” What’s a manirine beogist?” And I told her that they study plants, animals and other organisms that live in the ocean or any other body of water. She became very curious.
So, thus began another journey. A fascinating one, as I checked out library books and showed her plenty pictures of marine life. I also read her little tid bits of information on marine invertebrates and marine mammals like: sea otters, dolphins, polar bears and whales. I showed her pictures of fish and I read a bit about sharks, barracudas, sardines and clownfish. We also covered marine reptiles like: sea snakes, marine iguanas, sea turtles and salt water crocodiles.
In addition, I taught her about some of the different types of sea birds and we saw beautiful pictures of coral reefs and microscopic life as well. How she was fascinated about it. How her eyes lit up and it made me want to cry. I told her, there is so much to learn in this world. I said, “This World is so huge and so vast and it’s no wonder that one ever really stops learning.”
A few weeks later, I had convinced my mom that we should take a family trip to The Texas State Aquarium! She was a little bit hesitant and she joked with me and said,” If you teach Jerrica about Astronomy, are we going to have to take a trip to outerspace?” For a split second, I thought that it would be a fantastic idea!!! My head was already spinning! And than I laughed and said,” I wish.” She laughed and gave me a huge hug and said she appreciated everything I had been doing. She than said that she would think about it. But, to not get my hopes up. It may not happen, she said. She told me that money was quite tight and there was a mountain of bills that had to be paid.
About a month later, we were able to make our first family trip to The Texas State Aquarium! I thought the day would never happen! And it was so much fun to hear my little five year old sister shout things like,” Look! It’s a sea otter! I learned about them! They dont have scent glands and they live in groups called rafts! Right Jeannett?”
And at that moment, it just solidified what I wanted to do for the rest of my life! Deep in my gut, there was no doubt. Not an ounce of it! Teaching, became my calling! As of now, it is my true passion, cultivated many, many, years ago. And at this point in my life, I believe that education is one of the most important things in life!
There will always be a place and need for teachers-all over the World. And when my dream is fullfilled, I know that I will become a positive role model for each and every student that walks through my door. I know that I will be able to make learning quite the experience and I will most surely make a positive impact on thier lives! Deep inside of me, a part of me is bubbling up with anticipation because I know that I will spend tons of time, at home, thinking about new and exciting ways to teach my students. I just want them to walk into my classroom, just about everyday, and know that something special is going to happen. I want them to have fun participating in class. I want them to be excited about learning! I want my future students to be brilliant and knowledgeable and I want to make learning as interesting as I can! Fom every fiber of my being, I whole heartedly want to make a difference! And to be able to be part of their growth and developement, that’s just simply priceless to me.
In my opinon, teaching is also about inspiring others. And to share in the joy of my students accomplishments, just as I shared in the joy whenever my little sister learned something new, that’s something I am very much looking forward too.
In any case, I know that becoming a teacher comes with much responsibility and commitment. But, I find the benefits of the profession are well worth the time and effort. My desire is to be able to influence my students in a positive way and provide them with the means to a successful future.
Furthermore, I believe that every person can make a difference in this world and I feel that by being a teacher, I can help direct some of my students towards thier own goals. But, this is who I am. This is what I am most passionate about! I, Jeannett Keibler, am I teacher! It’s my life calling. It’s what I was born to do. It’s what will make me happy, day in and day out. It’s something that I will find most rewarding! Becoming a teacher, would give me the most oppurtunity to put my talents and abilities to good use! In addition, my ultimate desire would be to instill within my students a desire for learning and to be able to give them an excitement for gaining more knowledge.
And with that said, I will let you in on one of my favorite quotes. It goes a little something like this: “All teachers make a footprint on a student’s life; some just make deeper ones than others.” (Author Unknown). I, Jeannett Keibler, want to become a teacher so that I can make deep ones!
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