SCHOOLS, STUDENTS | July 8, 2020
One Talcott Elementary Student’s Journey Toward Becoming a More Independent Learner
Jackie D. admits that she was scared entering Mancel Talcott Elementary as a new student in the fourth grade. Looking back now as a member of Talcott’s Class of 2020, she sees the past five years as life-changing.
“I remember being so scared of joining a new school and making new friends,” said Jackie. “But Talcott was amazing to me. There was so much support and love.”
She saw this love firsthand through her dedicated teachers who were willing to provide individualized support to help her grow as a student. With each new school year, she gained more confidence organizing her assignments, managing her time, and improving her self-awareness. Even as she became more independent, she never lost sight of the importance of asking for help.
“Though I’m entering high school not needing my IEP anymore, I’m never going to stop asking for help when I need it,” said Jackie. “Talcott teaches students to be themselves. It’s a school that I love, and I hope to come back to visit my teachers soon.”
As they helped her grow, Jackie’s teachers quickly noticed her tenacity and drive. Ms. Alexis Thompson, who taught her science and math starting in sixth grade, notes that Jackie started out shy but always took the initiative to work toward becoming more self-reliant. Another teacher, Ms. Donna Andrade, says that Jackie hasn’t let a single thing get in her way at Talcott.
“I admire Jackie for so many things, from her work ethic to the way she attacks problems,” said Ms. Andrade. “She goes for it, and she also asks for help. She will advocate for herself without feeling embarrassed or unsure.”
Jackie’s newfound independence came in handy as she finished up her time at Talcott learning remotely. She used a planner to write out all her assignments in advance to help her adapt to completing her work at home. Talcott Principal Olimpia Bahena believes Jackie will continue her commitment to excellence in high school and beyond.
“We’re all extremely proud of Jackie. The teachers and I agree that she is such a hard worker and her attitude is great,” said Principal Bahena. “I know she will shine in what she works toward next.”
At Talcott, Jackie discovered her passions for science and theater. She enjoyed learning about different chemicals and the periodic table inside the classroom, and portrayed everything from a quick-witted detective to an extremely mature babysitter on stage. She hopes to continue exploring both as a freshman at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in the fall, and she also has her mind set on a new extracurricular: the swim team.
“I’m excited and scared for high school because I will have to get used to new faces, but it’s cool to start a new adventure,” said Jackie. “Science clicks for me unlike any other subject, and when I’m older I would like to become a forensic chemist.”
After helping Jackie discover her own brilliance, Jackie’s teachers and principal are left with a few words that they will always associate with her. Jackie is hard working. Jackie is dynamic. Jackie shines.