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Four Years at the Mount

Senior Year

Four Pillar Resolutions: Leadership - Make a Difference

Samantha Strub
Class of 2013

(1/2013) "This is for you, Miss Strub! I just wanted to thank you for being an amazing teacher."

"Miss Strub, Iím going to miss you as a teacher so much! Please donít leave."

"Miss Strub, Iím going to miss your stylish clothes, cool nail polish, vocabulary games and advice. Thank you for being my favorite teacher!"

"Miss Strub, please promise that you will come back and visit us."

"Miss Strub, thank you for helping and believing in me. You are an inspiration!"

As the final day of my internship came to a close my emotions went into overdrive. All day, students were coming up to me giving me hugs, notes, and sometimes gifts. They were all telling me that they were going to miss me and that I was their favorite teacher. Even the students I had to punish or reprimand on a daily basis were giving me a hug and thanking me for everything that I have done and shown them. Needless to say, I was either in tears or on the brink of tears all day long.

Once all the students left, I walked around the building and reminisced about all the events that happened last semester. My mind went back to all of the different situations that I was faced with throughout the day. These memories included rejoicing over my studentsí successes, settling disputes, and disciplining them by sending them to detention.

My thoughts went back to those students I had to reprimand on a daily basis. The reprimanding was for any given number of things, such as throwing paper, leaving books on the floor, passing notes, not listening, talking while the teacher is talking, being out of the dress code, being disrespectful, etc. I had to act like a firm mother hen to these students. Most of the time, it felt like they just liked to hear me say the same thing numerous times a day. I was constantly repeating myself, seemingly without any progress. As I reflected on the notes I received upon the end of my internship, I realized that many of them were from the students that I reprimanded on a daily basis. These students were telling me that they were going to miss having me as a teacher, and they would miss my outfits, shoes and nail polish. It was these students who were telling me that I was an inspiration to them and thanking me for believing in them and helping them succeed. The tears started to stream down my face when I realized my hard work had paid offóIíve become an inspiration and role model to my students.

This realization was interrupted by five middle school girls who were looking for me. They wanted to give me a hug and take a picture with me so they would always have something by which to remember me. They asked me to always remember them and to please come visit them once I graduate. One girl, Mary, asked if I would please return next year and teach them again because I was her favorite teacher. I thanked them and said I will try. Suddenly, these girls became very serious and said that they were wondering if I could give them some advice. Of course I said, "Sure! What is going on?" The girls then asked me for advice about boys and relationships. In particular, they asked if they should tell the boys they like that they like them, and if so, how should they tell them? They wanted to know if they were ever going to have a boyfriend and why they werenít good enough for boys to like them.

At first I was taken aback by all of their questions and I scrambled for something to say to them. As I was thinking, I looked down at their hopeful faces and realized that they trusted me with this valuable and important information. They were asking me for advice on a subject that they probably wouldnít want to ask their parents about, as that is not something middle school students typically want to discuss with their parents. These five girls were looking to me as a role model. I was the leader making a difference in these girlsí lives. I suddenly knew exactly what to say.

I proceed to explain to these girls that they do not need a boyfriend to make them happy. They should focus on themselves and the talents they can use to help change the world. One day, they would have a happy ending. I told them that they are beautiful inside and out. As I continued on my relationship advice soap box, the girls were gazing at me with wide eyes and open ears.

It was through giving this advice about relationships and my memories with the troublemakers that I realized the impact that I had on these studentsí lives. I was being the leader that Iím called to be as a teacher and I was making a difference in my studentsí lives. My dream of being a role model, leader and inspiration to others was coming true.

I had always believed that through teaching, one guides the younger generations. A teacher provides the youth with more than just instruction. A teacher is a role model for them to look up to, and a teacher acts as a trustworthy figure in which students can confide. A good teacher tells and explains, but a great teacher inspires. Teachers prepare the youth to educate themselves throughout their lives. Teachers help students love to learn and inspire them to make a difference in the world.

Teachers are leaders in the world because they have a lasting impact on studentsí lives in more than just the content they teach. They are there to show children the truths of History, English, Spanish, Math, etc., but the instruction goes beyond just the lesson plan. There is also importance in the impression you make through the interaction and conversation you have with your students. It meant the world to my students that I listened to them and put them first, no matter how busy I was. I made sure they knew that I thought they were important. I answered and clarified questions that they had. I became a constant cheery face and always had something new to share. I made a difference by becoming a role model for my students, someone to which they could turn to for advice and support.

This New Year, Iím returning to the Mountís campus. I plan to continue being a leader and making a difference. When I begin teaching in the fall, I will continue being an inspiration and a role model to my students. Until then, I will be a leader on campus through my role as a Mount Ambassador. I will focus on the tours I give and the people I encounter as a result of the tours. I will show them the unique Mount spirit that they will not find anywhere else. The information I give will inevitably make an impact on the impression that these prospective students will have about The Mount. It could make a difference in where they ultimately choose to go to school.

I will also focus on making a difference in the lives of the people that I encounter on a daily basis. This will include my classmates, co-workers and people with physical and mental disabilities that I encounter through my work with the Arc of Frederick County. I will particularly focus on the impact I make on the lives of the individuals for which I provide respite care and skills education. I will be assisting them in what seems like simple tasks to many, but I know my assistance really means the world to them because they are tasks that are very difficult for them. Iím a leader to Elisha, the woman that I have worked with for the past year, because I assist and support her in tasks and activities that mean so much to her. It was through my support and leadership that we have grown very close. Elisha and I can have long discussions on a variety of topics or simply take a walk in silence and be content. It is through growing so close to her that I realized the important role that I play in her life. It is so important for me to make a difference providing hope, support and happiness for someone who needs it so much.

My New Yearís resolution is to make a difference by being a leader. How will you be a leader? How will you make a difference?

Read past editions of Samantha Strub's Four Years at the Mount