Lessons Learned

By: Sam Calio, Community Journalism Trainer

The month of August was a challenge, but brought many life lessons. This month, I was able to work with three new summer students. Each student taught me a very valuable lesson. The lessons were sometimes difficult but I’m happy I was able to work through them. My students taught me how to be patient, manage expectations, and the power of positivity.

My summer students, Allyssa (left) and Charity (right), working on their interview skills. Photo by: Susan Calio

I’m not going to lie, I’ve never been a patient person. It’s something I know I have to work on and this month I definitely did. One of my students, Charity, helped me with my patience. She made me slow down and think about the task at hand and not worry about the future. In a fast paced world sometimes you forget to slow down and realize that you don’t have to go, go, go all the time. I still need to work on my patience but I’m happy Charity pushed me to work on it. 

Allyssa, my other summer student, taught me about the power of positivity. I don’t think of myself as a negative person, but when I’m stressed I can sometimes forget about the brighter side of things. Allyssa was my reminder to always smile and have fun, even when things aren’t going as planned. Everytime Allyssa came into the office she had a smile on her face. She even wrote on the whiteboard, “I beleaf in you!” She always motivated her peers to finish work and reach goals. Allyssa is leaving the community to go to high school but I will try to remind myself of her positivity when I’m feeling low. 

Tyra, the last of my three students, taught me the biggest lesson of all — how to manage expectations. When I first met Tyra I could tell she had great potential. She had fantastic story ideas and could take amazing photos. Because of her potential I set high expectations. The takeaway here is that I set the expectations when we should have set them together. Sometimes my expectations were unrealistic so I became frustrated. I wanted to push her to do more. I had to learn that if I want to set an expectation it had to be a discussion with my students. It had to be something we work on together. That was a very valuable and sometimes painful lesson.

The summer student program has now come to a close. School is starting and I’m excited to meet the new teachers and work with more students. I will take the lessons I’ve learned from my summer students and use them throughout my life. It’s not always easy to learn lessons but I am happy I did and I thank my students: thank you for all your hard work and good luck in the coming school year. I know you’ll do amazing!

All of their stories and more can be found at peetabecknews.com!

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