I Will Improve

Joseph - Beaverton, Oregon
Entered on March 9, 2009

While growing up I wasn’t given many opportunities to express my learning abilities while I was attending elementary and middle school. I was raised in South Sacramento, California, where the education system is not the best. I have always been a determined person, but when it came down to school work and tests, I didn’t understand one thing. School was a very difficult thing for me; it was hard to understand and follow the teacher’s instruction.

I remember coming home from school with a lot of homework that I had to complete before the next day and I never got it done. My mother could not find the time to help us with our school work because she was a single mother with five kids, working a full time. My mother is from the Tonga islands where she did school work in her native tongue, so she barley understood what I had to do most of the time. I had to rely on my older sisters to help me with my school work, but they had homework to do for themselves. I would always show up at school without completing my homework.

The teachers at my elementary school would always give me judgmental looks when I entered the classroom. I never felt like they looked into my situation at home; how I was not receiving the help I needed. I didn’t have any role models; my only parent was always busy and never home, we barley saw her and my sisters had homework of their own. I found myself not caring about homework, “It was just a waste of time,” I kept thinking to myself.

I remember one moment in particular time in school, where one of my teachers had embarrassed me in front of the entire classroom. I didn’t do an assignment she gave us a week ago, so she said she wanted to review it with me and help me finish it. I thought she was sincere about it, but soon found out that her intentions were to humiliate me in front of the other students. I remember crying my eyes out thinking to myself “I’m never going back to school anymore!”

As the years went by, I obviously continued school and improved my learning abilities with the help of my high school teachers and my friends. After I recovered from that incident during elementary school, I told myself that I was going to do what I can to go to college and earn a degree. Now I’m at Brigham Young University – Idaho studying my generals and planning to major in accounting.

When I graduate from college, I would love to take a visit to my elementary school teacher, look her in the eyes and say, “Thank you so much!” If that incident never happened, I don’t know if I would have the determination I have today. Even though it hurt me, I’m grateful for that moment because it has helped me become someone more determined.