Madeline Thomas - Grade 7, Tower Heights Middle School
H.D. Thoreau once said: “If you have built your castles in the air… that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” When you are born, you can’t even feed yourself; your destiny isn’t something you can control. Good parents begin to lay their child’s foundation. From an early age, I was encouraged to read; we went to the library every Thursday. I believe that this helped me develop my love of reading, writing, and grammar (my family can attest to the fact that I cannot let an incorrect “broke” go by without adding on the -n).
Even as early as first grade, I had dreams, though they were near-impossible dreams. That’s the way little kids think. Once I entered elementary school, I started to build my own foundations, as well as start to think realistically.
I’ve been through a thousand career dreams, including artist, writer, biologist, professor, and nurse. I think that I’ve found the career that I’m truly passionate about: teaching. Helping children to learn new things is the best job in the world. I’ve started to take steps to prepare accordingly, both for acceptance into college and for employment as a teacher. I’m looking into reading to kids at the library. I make sure that my grades are the best they can be. I even help my friends with homework!
We have this saying in our schools (particularly in elementary school) that everyone should “fill other people’s buckets”, meaning that people should always compliment each other and promote good self-esteem. I always thought it was cheesy, but it’s true. When someone lets me know that they think I’m doing well, it really makes my day! Alternately, when people critique me on my work, I’m glad of the chance to improve. You can’t correct your errors until you know what those errors are. When someone around me does a great job, it motivates me to reach my potential. I’ve been inspired by my teachers so much that I’d like to be a teacher myself, just to be for other children what my teachers have been to me. I was also told the other day by a fellow student during group work that I can sometimes be too much of a perfectionist. I’ve accepted this criticism and am working toward correcting my behavior in the future. In addition, when my ELA teacher recently complimented me on a quality writing assignment, it gave me confidence that I can write well. Outside influences have helped me to be a stronger and better person by example, by praise, and by constructive criticism.
As I continue to grow in knowledge and maturity, I look back on all the people who have influenced me to this point. Whether as a parent, an educator, a neighbor, or a friend, I hope to be able to positively influence others by my choices.