I never thought I would be here

I have always loved reading and writing. I wrote my first story in third grade and kept writing stories and poetry through high school. I worked on my high school newspaper and spent a semester writing for my junior college’s newspaper. I enjoyed being recognized for my writing, but I always struggled with having an opinion about what I read.

At eight years old, I knew that I wanted to teach high school English, and I pretty much pursued that goal as I finished high school and entered college. However, I never really felt that I had anything valuable to say about what I read. My first literature classes were difficult because I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to write for my term papers. The most embarrassing moment for me was in a class on the British Enlightenment when my professor said she wasn’t sure what my thesis was for my term paper. The embarrassing part was that I didn’t know what she was talking about. What’s a thesis?

As I started teaching, I avoided teaching more academically advanced classes because I didn’t think I was smart enough to teach honors and definitely not Advanced Placement classes. However, one of my principals encouraged me to teach AP Language and Composition. I taught the course for five years between two high schools, but I still often felt inadequate in my ability to challenge students who were striving to be accepted to attend prestigious universities.

About two and a half years ago, I realized that I wanted to be able to teach college level courses through the Dual Enrollment program in Virginia. That meant that I needed to get my Master’s degree in English. I found a program that is completely online, and I decided to take the plunge and apply for grad school. During my first few classes, I was terrified that I still didn’t have much to say about the literature I was reading, but over time, I gained confidence in my voice as a literary scholar.

This past week I finished my final literature class in my Master’s program. It was a fun but difficult class about post colonialism. I wrote my term paper, focusing on gender roles in Things Fall Apart. When I received my grade from my professor, he encouraged me to find a conference where I could present my paper. In the academic world, this is a huge honor and opportunity.

I encourage you today to pursue your passion. Don’t give up on the things you want to do in life. I have always loved reading and writing, and now theses passions have come together in my teaching and in my writing. Don’t let fear dictate what you do in life.

Published by bagmac77

I am a high school English teacher, wife, and mother. I love writing about the ways in which faith intersects our modern world.

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