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Teachers are an indelible part of our academic, cognitive, and personal development. They are fundamentally responsible for shaping our attitudes about education. For many, the first teachers we have in our lives are our parents. Our parents' responses to our infant needs teach us how to instinctively communicate discomfort, need, or joy. Our parents also instill our first lessons in what is fair and just and what is not, proper manners, and family values. The teacher that has most directly affected my attitude about education is my mother, Maria Medina. Maria is the first and most important individual to teach me the outright importance of education. Maria's passion for education drove her 2,500 miles away from her home in Medellin, Colombia, to start life anew, at the age of 29, in Boston, MA. Her awe inspiring sacrifices getting to America, working, studying and providing in an immigrant family, simply to grant my siblings and I access to education have imbued me with an unshakeable admiration for it. I can highlight the exact juncture at which my attitude about education was altered to a hot July afternoon in 1997. Since a young age my mother made it a priority to teach and model the values of hard work and most importantly education. She did so most meticulously during the summer. Day camps were out of our price range, so my mother would bring me with her to work. Back then she worked two jobs; first as a seamstress in a bag-making factory in Quincy, MA, and secondly as a housecleaner to make extra money to pay for evening English classes for herself. While at the factory she'd have me read and write summaries of stories. It was when we left the factory that my mother's compelling argument for education manifested itself like a thunderous cold wave in the middle of a humid day. After having labored for eight strenuous hours she still had the fortitude to travel across the city of Boston to the town of Brookline, by train, hauling me along, and then proceeding to vacuum, mop, wash, and clean a two-story home. The memory of this engulfs me vividly. On this particular day I volunteered to assist in the vacuuming. She took the time to model the right way to do it. As I saw the sweat drop from her brow she looked at me and said, "David, study, and work hard in school so you don't have to do this kind of work when you're grown. Your education is why I do all of this. "As she wiped the sweat away I was struck deeply by the magnitude of her beautiful words. After we finished there, I accompanied her to her English classes, and later fell asleep on our apartment couch as I watched her study into the night, living by her words and passion for education. To appreciate why Maria treasured education so deeply, it's important to comprehend her roots. Maria's story begins in the rural countryside of the state of Antioquia, Colombia. Born in rural Barbosa, she was the eldest girl in a family of eleven children, a typical characteristic of the rustic Latin American household. Her responsibilities as a female living in a patriarchal family included: tending to her younger siblings, helping with house chores, cooking, cleaning, and serving. At a young age, her father banned her from ever going to school. Despite this, Maria would sneak out in the early mornings, walking through the thick brush of the forest, to a local convent of nuns to learn how to read and write. Her accomplice in this was her mother, Virginia, who told cover stories to her husband. Maria was determined to move into the city of Medellin, acquire an education, profession, and move her family in with her. Tragedy struck the family when Maria's mother was hit with an infection that spread and took her life. It took tremendous sacrifice, courage, with an added dose of faith, but my mother assumed the role of matriarch in her household and helped her father raise the other 10 children. Maria eventually made her move into Medellin, but it was not to her dreams. The relocation was a consequence of the brooding civil war in Colombia between the government, paramilitary groups, and left-wing militias. Desperate poverty and limited access to schooling made a future in Colombia bleak. A life changing decision to escape poverty came in 1983 when she audaciously made the voyage North. First, she traversed through Mexico, and then overcame the ever-present dangers of crossing the American border. For three years she worked three jobs until she married and had me. Her new life's mission became to provide her children and herself with a proper education. I have had the privilege of sitting in classes with many truly excellent educators. For me, my mother was the first to exhibit the model of excellent teaching. I used to attend school to simply go through the motions of young age. Maria, although she could not speak or read the language proficiently, would sit down, motivate and work with me. She undertook the task almost as if she were vicariously living her childhood dreams through me. It is because of her tenacity, her heart, and her spirit that I have come to see education as an ineradicable component of my own life.
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My First Teacher: My Hero
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My First Teacher: My Hero

Words: 899    Pages: 3    Paragraphs: 9    Sentences: 48    Read Time: 03:16
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              Teachers are an indelible part of our academic, cognitive, and personal development. They are fundamentally responsible for shaping our attitudes about education. For many, the first teachers we have in our lives are our parents. Our parents' responses to our infant needs teach us how to instinctively communicate discomfort, need, or joy. Our parents also instill our first lessons in what is fair and just and what is not, proper manners, and family values. The teacher that has most directly affected my attitude about education is my mother, Maria Medina. Maria is the first and most important individual to teach me the outright importance of education. Maria's passion for education drove her 2,500 miles away from her home in Medellin, Colombia, to start life anew, at the age of 29, in Boston, MA. Her awe inspiring sacrifices getting to America, working, studying and providing in an immigrant family, simply to grant my siblings and I access to education have imbued me with an unshakeable admiration for it.
             
              I can highlight the exact juncture at which my attitude about education was altered to a hot July afternoon in 1997. Since a young age my mother made it a priority to teach and model the values of hard work and most importantly education. She did so most meticulously during the summer. Day camps were out of our price range, so my mother would bring me with her to work. Back then she worked two jobs; first as a seamstress in a bag-making factory in Quincy, MA, and secondly as a housecleaner to make extra money to pay for evening English classes for herself. While at the factory she'd have me read and write summaries of stories. It was when we left the factory that my mother's compelling argument for education manifested itself like a thunderous cold wave in the middle of a humid day.
             
              After having labored for eight strenuous hours she still had the fortitude to travel across the city of Boston to the town of Brookline, by train, hauling me along, and then proceeding to vacuum, mop, wash, and clean a two-story home. The memory of this engulfs me vividly. On this particular day I volunteered to assist in the vacuuming. She took the time to model the right way to do it. As I saw the sweat drop from her brow she looked at me and said, "David, study, and work hard in school so you don't have to do this kind of work when you're grown. Your education is why I do all of this. "As she wiped the sweat away I was struck deeply by the magnitude of her beautiful words.
              After we finished there, I accompanied her to her English classes, and later fell asleep on our apartment couch as I watched her study into the night, living by her words and passion for education.
             
              To appreciate why Maria treasured education so deeply, it's important to comprehend her roots.
             
              Maria's story begins in the rural countryside of the state of Antioquia, Colombia. Born in rural Barbosa, she was the eldest girl in a family of eleven children, a typical characteristic of the rustic Latin American household. Her responsibilities as a female living in a patriarchal family included: tending to her younger siblings, helping with house chores, cooking, cleaning, and serving. At a young age, her father banned her from ever going to school. Despite this, Maria would sneak out in the early mornings, walking through the thick brush of the forest, to a local convent of nuns to learn how to read and write. Her accomplice in this was her mother, Virginia, who told cover stories to her husband.
             
              Maria was determined to move into the city of Medellin, acquire an education, profession, and move her family in with her. Tragedy struck the family when Maria's mother was hit with an infection that spread and took her life. It took tremendous sacrifice, courage, with an added dose of faith, but my mother assumed the role of matriarch in her household and helped her father raise the other 10 children.
              Maria eventually made her move into Medellin, but it was not to her dreams. The relocation was a consequence of the brooding civil war in Colombia between the government, paramilitary groups, and left-wing militias. Desperate poverty and limited access to schooling made a future in Colombia bleak. A life changing decision to escape poverty came in 1983 when she audaciously made the voyage North. First, she traversed through Mexico, and then overcame the ever-present dangers of crossing the American border. For three years she worked three jobs until she married and had me. Her new life's mission became to provide her children and herself with a proper education.
             
              I have had the privilege of sitting in classes with many truly excellent educators. For me, my mother was the first to exhibit the model of excellent teaching. I used to attend school to simply go through the motions of young age. Maria, although she could not speak or read the language proficiently, would sit down, motivate and work with me. She undertook the task almost as if she were vicariously living her childhood dreams through me. It is because of her tenacity, her heart, and her spirit that I have come to see education as an ineradicable component of my own life.
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