2017 Orange Honors | Emily Morales

Presented by:

Emily Morales

When I was younger, I started my own education as a kindergartener and then a first grader, and I was impacted in the best way by a teacher who showed how much he cared for his students. He took the time to make special bonds with each student and give them what they needed to succeed. This positive influential teacher moved with the same group of students from first all the way into third grade. Mr. Stiglet showed me that caring about students could be the most rewarding career that someone could choose. This is why I have chosen to further my own education to be that love and care that each student needs and deserves. Not only do I feel this would positively impact my life, but also the students that I will work with.

Recently, I finished a Bachelors of Science in secondary education of social science. While student teaching at a local high school, my class was located next to the special needs classroom. Every morning would start with me going over to say good morning to the student that spent his day in there. Even though I was aware it was tough for him to form bonds with people, I made it a point to make him feel important. I wanted him to know that he was a part of my every day. I would often not get a reaction out of him unless it was initiated by me. This all changed during my last week of student teaching when he peeked his head into my classroom while I was busy working on lesson plans and happily smiled and told me hello. This one little gesture touched my heart so much that it further submitted my desire to work with special needs students.

I am currently enrolled to begin my Masters degree in Special Education. Some may decide after working nonstop on one degree that they have earned a much deserved break from the books, however before I could even finish up my Bachelors, I knew exactly where I wanted to be during the fall 2017 semester. I spent countless nights reviewing schools, looking at the cost as well as the requirements. I chose Ball State University because they look to be a very desirable school to the students and the schools that seek out to hire professionals to fulfill positions.

While I will soon be able to teach in a middle school or high school setting, I feel that this is not my final calling. I enjoy each and every one of my students. I love seeing their faces when they accomplish a task. I love to present the students with challenges and see them succeed and prove to themselves just how smart they are. Being able to work in a classroom with students of special needs would impact this ten-fold. Completing the Masters in Special Education would fulfill a personal goal that would put me not just in the classroom, but with the students that I feel I could impact most. Working with special needs students is not a challenge that most can take on, but it is one that I strive to succeed at. Even outside of the special needs classroom, there are many students that can immerse in the common classroom setting. These students have proven to me that they are strong and hard workers. During my student teaching, these were some of my best workers. While often times their records would show that work should be adjusted for their learning levels, these students showed me that they liked the challenge. They wanted to prove to me as well as themselves that they could rise to the challenge and surpass both of our expectations.

I have mentioned repeatedly the impact that I can have on the students and my own goals, but this would also be a wonderful step for my children. I come from a family that has not seen people go to college. The farthest educational completion that my family has seen is high school graduates. Now that my husband and I have both finished our Bachelors degrees, I hope to show my own children that they can and should reach for the stars. The only limits that come in life are the ones you put on yourself. I want my babies to know that I will support them in every way that they need it. If they choose to join the military like their dad, I support them 100%. If they choose to start school right out of high school, I am there for them all the way. I will also show them that it is never too late to get your college degree.  

I went right out of high school to a full-time job. I didn’t see myself going to college because it was something that I could not afford. My parents had not set up any type of college fund for me. Any further education would be on my part and I was living paycheck to paycheck. Having met my husband, he gave me the push that I needed to shoot for the stars and do what I wanted to succeed in life. As a stay at home mom, I started my college career with the push and support from both my husband and my children. We knew that we wanted our children to have the financial support to begin their college career when they are ready and began investing in their future from the time they were born. My children should know and see that we value whatever they choose to do in life, but I also want them to see what a career in what you love can do for you. Showing my children that I did not settle just for what got me through and that I reached for what I desired will be a positive image for them to look up to.

I hope that this fully expresses what my college degree could do for my life. There are ways that this will impact my day to day, with working with the students, as well as showing my own children that education could be the backbone to doing what you love and loving what you do. While many can be teachers, I hope to be more than just a teacher. I want to be the positive person that these students think back to when they grow older as someone that cared for them and showed that they mattered.

Connect with us on Facebook!