Supplement Essay

Prompt: School can often seem like work: a set of responsibilities, obligations, and tasks to be completed. But Trustee Scholars are creative and curious, rather than merely dutiful. Give us a glimpse of an intellectual pursuit or challenge that absorbs you, gives you joy, or provokes your curiosity, and tell us why.

Essay:

I have dreamed of becoming a teacher since I was eight years old. When I was in third grade, I received a book published by American Girl called “Doll School.” I poured over the pages, planning how I would set up my classroom one day. All my dolls sat in an orderly form while I taught them the lessons I learned in school that day: facts about penguins, multiplication tables, and even lessons about the sun. I would “grade” their papers, and when I was done with class, I would sit with my 4 year old brother and read him stories. 

As I grew older, I found other ways to teach. As a camp counselor, I created a classroom during free blocks of time in the schedule, and I design simple lesson plans for each day. As I watched campers illustrate their own books or work together on a science experiment, I realized that my childhood dream was not lost; it had merely reshaped itself into a more realistic form. 

When I approached my senior year of high school, I was presented with the opportunity to take part in a self-designed internship. I immediately jumped at the chance, and came in contact with the supervisor of the program and principal of a local elementary school to assist me in designing a program of student teaching in the elementary classroom. I was fortunate enough to have my program approved, and am currently pursuing my internship in a first grade classroom at an elementary school in my district. 

During my time in the classroom, I have the privilege of watching each child experience his/her own cycle of growth, find the humor in situations and show a clear eagerness to learn.One of the students I worked with only spoke Spanish at home, and she was shy and embarrassed because she wasn’t fluent in English like the rest of her peers. When I explained to her that her ability to speak two different languages in first grade made her unique (for I couldn’t even speak two languages at my age), she lit up with pride. That moment I shared with the student proved to me that I craved the classroom experience where I could help each child flourish as an individual. Teaching challenges me to think quickly on my feet, adapt to new situations, practice patience, and develop efficient problem solving skills. It allows me to pursue my passion of helping others while still challenging myself as an individual. Teachers establish and set the foundation for the moral characteristics and basic skills of our future leaders of the world. I have witnessed the difference one person can make on another’s life, and I can only hope to continue to make that impact on an individual in my time.

 

Tips for Writing:

Write an outline before you begin to guide your writing. Think about what you want to explain to the reader and what details are going to help you portray it. For my essay, I focused on how my love for teaching grew over time. If you are having trouble picking a topic, think about what makes you different as a person. What experiences have helped shape you to be who you are today? Don’t try to write about more than one topic, especially in a supplement. It confuses the reader, and makes your essay appear messy and misleading. Start with an opening sentence that hooks your reader in – sounds obvious, but it is effective and sets your essay apart from the others. Do not start with your main idea/point to be proven. If you are going to write about an activity you’ve taken part in, be careful not to just explain what your responsibilities were. If they wanted to know that, they would check your resume. For example, don’t write about how you were the captain of the lacrosse team, and it made you a great leader. Dig a little deeper by writing about a certain experience you had with a member of the team or a conflict you had to deal with as the leader, and then explain how it changed you as a person. Be sure to explain how the experience changed you as a person. Capitalize on character traits that set you apart! Speak in a narrative style – it makes the essay more personal to the reader. Don’t be afraid to draft multiple essays about different topics. You may start writing one essay and realize one is easier to write about than another. Have a few trusted people read over your essay, but try to perceive their comments as suggestions. After all, this is YOUR essay!