Student Success: Dedication, Perseverance, and Teamwork

By Erin Galvin — We just completed our final week of teaching at Breakthrough Fort Worth.  This week was filled with final exams and appreciating members of our BTFW Community—master teachers, teaching assistants, teachers, and students.  Out of all the events this week, my favorite was Student Appreciation Day because it was an opportunity for the teachers to acknowledge our students’ accomplishments this summer.

As a teacher, it was a privilege to teach such an inspiring group of middle school students.  Breakthrough is a rigorous academic program that pushes students to reach their fullest potential.  Attending a day at Breakthrough is similar to attending a day at regular school, which means our students are constantly working with urgency to acquire new knowledge.  They never cease to amaze me with their passion for learning and pursuit of excellence.  Over the course of the summer, my students taught me valuable lessons about how to improve my instruction.  Although my students have many admirable characteristics, I most value their dedication, perseverance, and teamwork.

Dedication – My students come to school for six weeks during the summer from 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  They choose to spend their summer at Breakthrough and commit themselves to their academics while many of their peers from their regular schools are experiencing a more traditional summer.  In addition to being at Breakthrough during the day, they complete an average of two hours of homework every night.  Breakthrough students dedicate themselves to an intense academic program in an effort to reach their goal of attending a college preparatory high school and graduating from a four-year university.  Their dedication to their education inspires me to plan effective lessons and increases my enthusiasm for teaching.

Perseverance – This summer my students have been presented with challenging math concepts, such as writing proofs in geometry or solving for percent change in algebra.  With each new objective, my students demonstrate a strong work ethic and commitment to learning the material.  If they are struggling with a concept, they ask questions in class or call for homework help until they have mastered the material.  As a teacher, I appreciate their perseverance and pursuit of learning mathematics.

Teamwork One of the core values at Breakthrough Fort Worth is teamwork.  Within the classroom, students demonstrated teamwork by collaborating with their peers to solve challenging math problems.  In addition, they worked together as a team to plan our Spirit Day skit earlier in the summer.  Breakthrough students’ commitment to teamwork contributes to the strong sense of community at BTFW.

 This is only a snapshot of how much I appreciate my students at Breakthrough. I could write pages on how much I respect these young men and women.  As a teacher, it is gratifying to recognize their accomplishments, and I am confident that my students’ dedication, perseverance, and teamwork will lead them to accomplish their academic goals!

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