“Guess what happened? I was teaching math at the grade school, and the students were really beginning to learn. They all passed the test.”
I looked at my fellow cheerleaders and asked, “What are you talking about?” They quickly explained what the Future Educators Association® is and how they were working with children in field placements. I had just discovered what I wanted to do. I wanted to join FEA and become involved in education so I could fulfill my dream of working with small children. I changed my schedule and became part of the Careers in Education program and FEA. I was excited and ready to be involved. I wanted to broaden my horizons. FEA gave me the opportunity to explore a career that interested me.
My first year attending the Ritchie County teacher cadet class, I was placed in a 2nd-grade classroom. I was scared, but that soon changed. I had discovered my career choice and how I could broaden my horizons. Thanks to the Career in Education classes plus my FEA chapter, I had the opportunity to decide which grade level I want to teach because I could experience both elementary and high school classrooms. I also made memories that I will never forget.
In my 3rd-grade classroom, I had a little boy who always seemed sad and miserable. I tried to pay more attention to him than I did to the other students. My plan was to make him more comfortable around me and to show him that I would help him with anything that he needed. Each day, I observed his actions and how he worked with the other students. I asked the teacher if I could work one-on-one with him on a daily basis to recap what he had been taught that day and to check for understanding. I wanted to give him that extra help that he needed. My mentor teacher agreed, and I was thrilled.
My first day with him was truly an FEA moment. I knew that belonging to this organization had given me the skills to pursue my dream. He was very shy and did not want me to help him. But the next day, he was excited to see me, and he wanted to learn more. These off-and-on actions continued through multiple days, so I asked the teacher about it. She said that he was bipolar. Knowing that fact gave me insight into teaching him through different techniques. After a couple of weeks, he began to talk to me about his family and his home life. He told me that he has many things wrong with him because his mom has told him that he is bipolar, has ADHD, and is considered a “slower” leaner. His mother requested that he be treated like a normal child. None of this mattered to me. I decided to continue to help this young student reach his goals as a learner.
Have you ever entered into a room and children are excited to see you? Well, each day I walk into my classrooms and have that great feeling. The children love to display the work they have done, show off their grades, and talk to me about multiple things. The first time I felt this feeling, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.
Thanks to FEA, I have the chance to affect the lives of others the way FEA has affected mine.
Alyssa Yudt from Ritchie County High School in Ellenboro, W.Va., submitted this FEA Moment for the 2011 FEA International Conference.