Jolie Collins

“Everything happens for a reason.” This saying has been engraved in my mind ever since I was a child. I always subconsciously believed it when my family members said it but I was never caught saying it myself. From the simplest things such as being late to an appointment to the more important issues such as losing a loved one, someone in my family was always there to remind me that it’s okay and that again, everything happens for a reason. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I began taking this phrase seriously. 

Most people know I have dreamt of being an elementary school teacher ever since I was in kindergarten. Throughout my time in school, I would catch myself sitting on my bed questioning how I was supposed to become a teacher when I needed so much support from them myself. 

 In eighth grade, I was diagnosed with ADHD and an auditory processing disorder. I began struggling academically and needed assistance with the smallest assignments. Because of this, I eventually detached myself from my dream of becoming a teacher. More than a year went by and I was hopelessly searching for a new “dream job.” 

Late in my sophomore year, I began gaining different strategies to help me overcome these academic barriers. Strategies such as using scribes during tests, use of the Renaissance teachers in my support blocks, and reading assignments aloud helped me the most. Once I had these strategies, I learned my purpose and the reasons I had been given these struggles. Soon, my experiences will help my future students. I now know different learning styles to use with kids who might not understand the way the majority of the class does. I will make the classroom a safe place for my students and make sure they feel understood and accepted no matter what they may be going through. 

God has given me the ability to use my academic struggles to help students in the future. Whether you are a believer or not, I want you to know that no matter what you have been through in the past, or what you are currently going through, there is always a reason behind these hardships and you’ll always come out stronger in the end.