Friday, January 24, 2014

Day 85 - Making Connections and Pushing New Limits

Today's post is from Jamie Harms, Student Service Coordinator and WALA and Learning Lab Paraprofessional

When I went to college it was for what I loved, what I was good at and what I thought I wanted to do for a career. I excelled while in school and enjoyed working in the field as I graduated. Unfortunately, life had a different plan for me with the change in the economy and I was left looking for a new job. Although I was extremely happy doing design work, I felt like life wanted more from me. I began looking for a job that could make a difference in someone else’s life, a job that would allow me to grow as a person while perhaps shaping the future of another human.

I became a paraprofessional because I wanted to do more with life; I wanted to make a change. I wanted to be someone that students could look back on their school years and smile about. I wanted to help develop new ways of learning, ways that harnessed the energy of students and push them to find new, creative and innovative ways to solve problems, write stories, create art or simply absorb life long lessons.

Starting a new job is never easy, often we are filled with uncertainties of what to expect and how and where exactly we will fit in. My first day at MWHS was terrifying; I think I was as nervous if not more than the incoming 8th graders. I was unsure of what to expect, hoped to make a good impression on the staff but mostly importantly I wondered how I would make a connection with my new students. My fears and doubts quickly subsided. I was warmly welcomed by all at MWHS, students and staff alike. The transition into my position as a para within our alternative learning program and credit recovery lab has been easier than I could have ever imagined. I have found new ways to connect with my students while entrusting in the background of experiences that has lead me to here.

My job could simply be to just assist students in completing their work, however I like to take the next step and help them achieve more than they thought possible. I like to push the boundaries that our WALA students have set for themselves and get them thinking, reacting, and striving. I have been working on trying to help them become better people today to prepare them for the person they will grow up to be. This is not an easy task, as stubborn as teenagers can be you can imagine the walls we have to break down to truly make a difference in one student’s future. But as each day pushes forward I am finding new ways, new connections and new methods to working side by side with our students at MWHS. It is this, that one on one connection that I am able to make with students that makes today, and everyday a GREAT day to be a White Hawk.

Back row: Megan, Jamie, Allison and Michelle
Front row: Alex and Tyler

Luis and Jamie

If you have a story that you would like to share, please email for more information! We would love to hear from you!

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