I gave a list of ten words for my students to write down. It brought back memories of when I participated in a spelling bee.

I was in the sixth grade when I participated in a spelling bee. I was determined to spell all the words correctly. I can’t remember exactly how many words there were, but it was a lot. I spent weeks practicing the words and memorizing the spelling. I ended up in first place with another classmate. I was nervous, and I was afraid that I would forget how to spell one of the words. I think I lost the tiebreaker but it was still great fun.

I always did well in school even though I don’t consider myself the smartest person in the class. Still, I worked hard, and usually, my grades showed it.

Math was never my best subject even though I enjoy teaching my students math. Once I understand something well enough then it’s fun teaching it. A good math teacher is crucial for a student to succeed in mathematics. I think a good teacher can understand the student’s struggle. Sometimes I would have teachers that would become frustrated because I wasn’t understanding. It is easy to become frustrated especially when something comes easily to you. I just felt stupid and bad about myself. It unmotivated me.

Honestly, I need to be more patient with my students because sometimes I become frustrated. Mostly, when they have to use the bathroom every twenty minutes but so do I! Ha!

Recently, a regular customer came to my serving job. Pao and Ellen are a Christian Korean couple that met during their college years at UCLA.

Ellen said, “my husband is borderline genius…he went to school for mathematics but he left it all behind to become a priest…I went to school to become an eye doctor..I have to work so hard to learn anything.”

I was bamboozled by Ellen’s comment. I asked Pao why he gave all of it up?

He asked me, “what religion are you?”

I said, “I am a Muslim.”

He said, “You and Me…we believe in the same God..we are the same.”

I smiled. What a beautiful thing to say.

If you meet Pao…he always has this huge smile on his face. When I look at him…I automatically smile.

So this post today is dedicated to all of us that are still learning or struggling to learn or are just trying our best. Keep trying. It will click eventually. Take a break if you need it but don’t give up.

I will always be a student. A student of life. Constantly learning and doing my best.

Be the best spelling bee you can be!



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