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My School’s Welcoming Culture Inspired Me to Do My Best

19 December 2023

By Emma D., Eighth-Grade Student at Edison Park Elementary School

Edison Park Student

In third grade, I had a wonderful teacher named Ms. Perns. She always pushed us to ask for help when we needed it, and that made me feel comfortable going to her for support. 

Ms. Perns is just one of the many great teachers I’ve had at Edison Park from kindergarten to now. It is a lovely school where everyone is nice and I feel accepted by them. 

I also have opportunities to contribute to the school’s culture, which I really enjoy. I currently have a buddy who’s in second grade, and we play games and do crafts with them every once in a while. And I always say ‘hi’ to them when I see them in the hallway. This has helped me become friends with a lot of the younger students. 

I’m excited to graduate later this year, but I’m also sad to leave everything I’ve known for so many years. I have positive memories from every grade level. 

When I was younger, I got to have lunch with the principal as a reward for showing good behavior. More recently, I’ve gone on many fun field trips. I love how my school was able to make going to Six Flags and the Shedd Aquarium so educational by connecting our visit with what we were learning in the classroom. 

One of my favorite parts of eighth grade has been designing our eighth-grade shirts. We all created the designs together and got to vote on what we liked best. I don’t know the final design yet, but I’m sure it will include a wolf paw to reflect our school mascot. 

Inside the classroom, English language arts and social studies are my favorite subjects. I feel like I learn the most from them and enjoy learning about what happened in the past. 


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In English, we’ve been reading short stories and writing responses to them that specifically analyze the conflicts present in them. 

When I’m not in school, I keep myself busy with volleyball and dance. I’ve been dancing since I was little and started volleyball two years ago here at Edison Park. I love contemporary dance and have gotten pretty good at serving. My volleyball team even won the city championship this year. 

I’d say that my biggest accomplishment this year has been keeping my grades up, which I’ve had to put a lot of work into with my busy schedule. I’ve definitely gotten more homework this year than in the past, so I’ve focused on doing it right away after school to ensure that I get it done. 

Math is typically the hardest subject for me. I think I can still grow in math by studying more and zoning in more when I’m in the classroom. I would share this advice with other students as well: Trying your best starts with staying focused on what your teachers are telling you. 

And don’t skip your homework! Homework is how you get better at what you are learning. 

In high school, I’m hoping to pursue more STEM projects and more opportunities for hands-on learning. This will help me keep working toward my ultimate goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. I’ve always wanted to have a job that helps people. 

As I prepare to enter high school and continue working toward my goals, I know that the lessons I have learned at Edison Park will continue to be important to my success. I’m going to always try my best. I’m going to listen. And I’m going to devote enough time to studying and finishing my work on time. 

When others offer to help me, I’m going to let them do so. I’m going to keep on accepting others and know that they will accept me as well. And I’m ultimately going to be myself and not change who I am. 

My school community has been with me for everything. They’ve always helped me. I’ve progressed so much because of them and will be graduating later this year as a better student and person. 


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