“Students Learn From People They Love”: Joanna’s Reflections

Through my internship with DCTMI, I have been introduced to many different articles and stories that I wouldn’t have come across on my own time. One in particular, “Students Learn From People They Love” by David Brooks stood out. Brooks emphasizes how having a mentor or tutor during your school years can positively impact your school experience and encourage you to want to learn and this got me thinking about my own experiences.
Growing up I had severe ADHD and I would often find my name always on the red section on the behavior chart. I was smart and tested into the talented and gifted program, but I would constantly be overlooked because of my lack of ability to focus at the same caliber as my peers. This would discourage me immensely in school. I would struggle to get Bs and As because I felt that no matter how hard I tried, I would always be credited for my behavior and not my academics.
However, in fourth grade, I had a great teacher, a teacher who didn’t believe I was a “bad” child. She would invite me to come to school twenty minutes before the school day started so that I could help her set up the classroom and this allowed me to get my energy out before the start of school. She knew my mom worked a lot so she took the time to ask me about my day or how skating was going. She was the only teacher who wanted to interact with the students during recess.
In return, I worked hard in her class because she believed in me both as a student and a person. She transformed my excess energy into something positive. Never once was my mom called during the school day from 4th grade on. I was starting to have a positive relationship with school because someone believed in me and mentored me beyond the classroom. My all around grades started to improve and I was finally invited to the honor roll pizza party and ultimately made the Principal’s list before completion of elementary school.
Having a mentor really makes a difference. Mrs. Boothe, thank you.

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