My educational journey begins like most others. As a toddler, I learned valuable life lessons from my parents, such as brush your teeth every day, treat elders with respect,share with others, and so on. Then, they enrolled me in a private, Catholic school. This is my first key experience. The school was ran by our church with a nun as the principal. All the teachers I had in this school held very high standards for their students (although they didn’t smack us with rulers, they were strict). They expected our full attention while they spoke and demanded near perfection in our behavior and homework. As a shy and quiet child, I wanted to please these lovely ladies that I looked up to. So, I have always worked very hard to have good grades and do my very best.
The private school I attended only went through fifth grade. So, in sixth grade I integrated into our town’s public middle school. This is my second learning experience. Change. It was challenging going from a class of seven to a class of seventy. Not fitting in was my biggest concern. I struggled to fit in with the girls I wanted to be friends with. I even went so far as to give a friend answers to a quiz. The only thing that got me was a zero on that quiz, which dropped my grade to a B. This is my third learning experience. Cheating or breaking the rules will never get you true friends.
During my time in high school, I had some amazing teachers. My first choir teacher sat the class down during the first week of school and told us how much he cared about us. Not only as part of his choir, but he cared about our lives and our well-being. He wanted us to know that he loved us all like we were his children. This made me want to learn and simply be the best type of person in and outside of the classroom. The next teacher that inspired me was my civics teacher. I have always been concerned about getting straight A’s. I want to do the best I can do, and I hold myself to that standard. School has always come easily to me, but I struggled in the social science and history classes. My grade had dipped to a B in his class, so I pestered him to see what I could do to bring my grade up. He turned to me and said “Sydni, you might not like to hear this, but grades don’t matter. Ten years down the road, it won’t matter if you got an A in your civics class or if you got a C. It’s just a grade.” What he said bothered me because getting good grades was what I was good at in school. I wasn’t the star athlete and I wasn’t the best musician. I was one that got a 4.o g.p.a. Since this, I have learned that although it is important to get good grades, it isn’t the only thing in school and the learning process that is important. All of these experiences and more have helped shape me into the learner I am today.