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We can really learn from kids

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Jennifer Bosco
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
It wasn't until recently that I learned there is truly something beautiful about being appreciated.

In the last six weeks I have been volunteering with Junior Achievement. Junior Achievement is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential and hands-on programs.

As a volunteer I had to teach a total of five classes and therefore I asked to teach in a school in close proximity to work, so I could teach class during my lunch-time break. After e-mailing the JA coordinator back and forth, I was placed in Mrs. Michelle Wissler's class teaching fourth graders at Welch Elementary.

Week after week I prepared myself for the lessons. Even though JA designs every lesson plan, I made sure I was familiar with the exercises and knew what approach I would take since every classroom dynamic is different.

Mrs. Wissler's class for example loves to participate. During class they would ask me questions regarding the appropriate topics, and in my opinion, the interaction made teaching a lot more fun and exciting.

As I prepared myself for the last class I caught myself daydreaming and realizing the importance of community service and helping others with our talents. I didn't realize how much I had learned from this experience and the students themselves!

During the last class I taught, I decided to let the students know that it was my last lesson with them at the end of the lesson. I decided to do that to ensure they would stay engaged throughout class and not lose focus. Once I finally told the students it was my last day with them, their little eyes bulged out, they started blurting out how they wanted to continue learning, wanted me to teach more, and they couldn't stop talking about all they had learned. At that moment all I could do was smile and listen to them all. Their reaction and applause made me feel so loved, so cared for, so appreciated; I was valued.

Genuine appreciation can really influence someone in many more ways than we know and this is something the students taught me. I've always known the importance of appreciating the people I work with, my family, my friends and I do appreciate them all. It wasn't until I truly experienced the various ways of appreciation from the students that I realized the true value of showing genuine appreciation.

Mrs. Wissler's students taught me a really valuable lesson that cannot be taught from books, papers, or in a class; it has to be experienced. It is the value and importance of telling people they are appreciated for what they do. Once that genuine feeling is experienced, the effect it has on people can only blossom and can serve as the motivation the individual needs to continue shining.