My Senior Year At Southern Illinois University

Decent Essays

During my senior year at Southern Illinois University (SIU) I was selected for an extraordinary opportunity as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Introduction to Psychology. Within this position I ascertained a passion for teaching as well as a strong desire to work closely with college students. While instructing one section of this course I developed personal connections and grew quite fond of my students. One student in particular, Tamaira, was a bright, upbeat, and successful young woman doing very well in my course and a delight to have in class. However, halfway into the semester her behavior drastically changed as she was often absent, no longer participated in class, and her grades were notably lower. Upon noticing the sharp turn of events I sent her an email with my concerns along with an invitation to have a discussion. My email went unanswered. Nonetheless, Tamaira showed up to my next class. While passing out exams, she locked eyes with me and held a handwritten note on her desk that read, “when I was 15 years old I was diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder. Sometimes I get depressed, but I want to do well in your class. Please don’t give up on me.” Feeling genuinely empathetic, I said to her, “I won’t.” After class a long positive conversation ensued that served as a catalyst toward her regained emotional strength and performance. This singular event in my teaching experience has had a profound effect on propelling me toward

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