What I’m Proud Of

Day 4 of the writing challenge and today’s prompt is: what is something I’m proud of?

Over 20 years ago I taught math to 2nd and 4th grade students in summer school – and I’m proud that I did this.  My mother was an elementary school teacher and she would often teach summer school in order to earn money while school was out for the summer.  I remember going with her and watching her teach summer school since I was 10 years old.  I didn’t really have a choice as to whether or not I wanted to go – since she was a single mother and there was nothing else for me to do.  Finally, when I was old enough, my mother gave me a chance to participate.  Since I grew up seeing teaching as something important and cool – I jumped on the opportunity.

Every day my mom would give me lesson plans for the day.  It was the basic stuff like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division with some word problems here and there.  She set it up so I’d get a quarter of her class at a time and I would teach the lesson.  School lasted a half day – so at lunchtime I’d take the kids to lunch at the cafeteria and then I’d help get them on busses to go home.  As a young man, this role was empowering and meant much more to me than I ever thought a paid job could.

As I was writing this, I realized a couple very interesting things (to me at least).  First off, it really stands out that on summer break that year my most memorable experiences were from unstructured volunteer work and not beach trips or working a paid internship in my field of study (Information Systems in case you were wondering).  Secondly, I’m just now realizing that when I tell people about myself, this accomplishment is frequently part of the story.  Thanks to this writing challenge and today’s prompt – I have better insight into why!

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