Project MARS/AmeriCorps collects “Great Stories” from its members in which they reflect on their experiences mentoring in the classroom and the progress they see students making. This month’s story was written by Bonnie Campbell.
I recently celebrated a birthday, and like many adults that I know, I wasn’t too ecstatic about the fact that I am getting older. Every morning at the school where I serve, all birthdays are announced, so on that morning so was mine. I start every morning with my second-graders, and when I walked into their classroom I was received by a “Happy Birthday” song and card signed by the whole class. This trend continued throughout the whole day. I was gifted tons of cards and heard “Happy Birthday Ms. Bonnie” so often that I felt like a celebrity. I was asked to eat lunch outside with the third-grade classes, and when I walked outside, the students erupted into the Happy Birthday song.
During my fourth-grade reading group, they asked me how my day was going and I confided that I didn’t want to get older. In response, one of my students told me that getting older just means that I’ll gain even more wisdom and be able to share it with other people and students like them. She also said I was one of her role models and that she doesn’t have role models that are old, and that made me laugh.
It was at that moment that I realized just within the short time I’ve spent serving them, I had already left a positive impact on them, and that means the world to me.
It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, thanks to my students I serve every day.