ILASCD Journal

Summer 2019

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Page 47 of 57

Article Becoming a Lifelong Learner: One teacher's journey from struggling student to thriving educator Jessica Connaway Growing up with a single mother of four children, education was required but not a priority in our house. My mother had other worries on her mind like; paying the bills, doing laundry, and putting food on the table. She was wonderful. And while she encouraged us to do our best, the last thing she wanted to do after a long day of work, was help her struggling first-grader with homework. As education was not something that came naturally to me, and without the at-home support, I needed to repeat first grade. Although school was a struggle for me, it was also what ended up pushing me to become a teacher and ultimately, helped me develop into a lifelong learner. Now, I use and view education as a way to create change in the world. My educational struggles continued into high school, but began to manifest in a different way. I became a perfectionist. I had to retake the ACT three times until I was completely satisfied with my score. I would go to the public library every Saturday morning to take a practice ACT exam. On Sundays, I would grade the exam and review all the incorrect materials. On Wednesday, nights I would go over new concepts. I did this for months on end. My hard work paid off because I was unbelievably SUMMER 2019 | VOLUME 65 | NUMBER 2 | PAGE 48

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