Audrey Hepburn once stated, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” When we went to class and heard about our service project assignment, I had many ideas come into my head. I thought about things like animal shelters, nursing homes, and many others but for some reason my heart was tugging me towards the elementary school kids. Now looking back I would not want to trade this experience for anything. I was blessed with the privilege to work in a classroom of students and it was amazing. The class is very small consisting of only six students, and they have a special class because they get mad easily. It’s also better that they get more one on one attention.
The six children are Landon, Jacob, Jaylon, Brinson, Jaden, and Tanyya. They are each wonderful individuals at such a young age. Landon is new to the class but the first day I met him he really enjoyed playing with cars and singing. Jacob is so sweet and loves his goldfish. Then I got to meet Jaylon who is a hilarious child. He is always outgoing, and every week he asks if I’m coming that week to volunteer. Brinson is very hyper but can be really funny at times too. I still remember the day he showed me his picture he colored that got hung up and I could just see the joy in his little eyes. Jaden loves to play with the toys and it was always interesting trying to get him on task. Finally, Tanyya is the only girl in the class and she is a typical elementary age girl but you just cannot help but laugh when she jokes around with you. I will never forget the first day when she pointed at me and said, “I’m watching you.”
It astonishes me how fast these kids have left an impact on my life. I have not got to be around them that long, yet I have learned so much about each one of them. They love telling me stories and I just feel intrigued when they talk to me. It is so amazing that these kids have found trust and comfort in me in such a small period of time. The first day I walked into their class I brought cookies as a surprise and they just went crazy. Of course we had to hide them until later, but just that little action made them so happy. Honestly, it made me reflect on how little gestures I can make everyday could have such great affects on people. These kids just love people giving them attention and being their friend.
Whenever their teacher let me help them with their schoolwork for the first time, I felt so honored; I had three different kids asking me to come help them instantaneously. I was constantly moving around trying to give attention to each one and help them as much as I could. They are so smart and it made my day seeing some piece of information in their little heads come together. Just in a small amount of time, they comprehend so much. These kids could never understand how much they have impacted my life.
This experience impacted my educational wisdom much more than I expected. It made me definitely realize that my future career had to involve children. It also showed me how difficult a teacher’s job can be, but at the same time I realized why people continue to become teachers. How could you not want to be a part of this miraculous learning journey that every child deserves to experience? Ever since I was younger I wanted to be a teacher, but the past few years I have considered family and children law. Now, reflecting on my experience I realized that either one of these choices will benefit my life. Being a teacher I can help kids grow and help put them on a path to success. As a lawyer I can stand up for them and defend the kids who have nobody on their side. It has shown me that teachers are such an important part of students lives and it makes you realize just how much respect they deserve, yet never receive.
I could never express how grateful I am for the joy I got from doing this project. Whenever I walk into their classroom and they all shout my name it just makes my entire day. Just to know that I have left an impact these kids is beyond amazing. I became their friend and they liked to tell me jokes and make me laugh. Little did they know their little laughs and even that spark when they understood something is a feeling of happiness that cannot be taken from me. Their teacher told me every Thursday Jaylon asks if I am coming. To know that this child looks forward to me coming and helping him with his math or playing with all of them at free time, is just amazing. I found that my actions have made an impact on such small kids, and I now know that my impact on our society could be so much greater than what I have accomplished so far!
Overall, volunteering with these children has opened my eyes to what a single person can do. I can make an impact on his world, and change things for the better. Volunteering is supposed to help others but honestly these kids helped me. They helped me realize that I want to be around kids in my profession with no doubt. They also helped me realize how important it is to give to others because no matter what you give it can make an impact. I am blessed to have started this journey, and fortunately for myself my journey with these kids is not over. I have got the approval and am now their classroom volunteer so I will get to go back for the rest of the year and continue to help them grow! Audrey Hepburn was right I do have a hand to help myself, and one for helping others, and I am beyond grateful that God gave me that extra hand.