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Reflection in Action: Celeste Wellman '25

Our reflection for the week comes from Celeste Wellman, a freshman exercise science major!

St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School


Mission:

St. Thomas Aquinas: Seeking to give all students of all races and ethnicities, K-8 an understanding of what Catholic moral principles and virtues are built on while developing humility, hard work and developing young men and women for others.


What impacts the way you view the situation/experience? (What lens are you viewing from?)

Before coming to St. Thomas Aquinas, I did not fully understand what I was signing up for. St. Thomas does a very excellent job at transforming and educating these young children, especially during the time of the pandemic. These children were set behind at least one year of learning, meaning the children could not do certain things they should be doing at their age. It is difficult to understand these circumstances because I was on track in elementary, so that is why during service I have to put myself at their level. You connect with these students and create good relationships which also helps the learning process. Putting aside my own experience in comparison but also using my experience to help educate these young, prospering students to create well rounded coming generations is my goal after finishing this service opportunity.


What learning occurred for you in this experience? How can you apply this learning?

St. Thomas Aquinas educates ages K-8, and I have gotten the chance to work with kindergarteners and first graders which allowed me to meet students of different education levels. This is my first time actually working with students in a school setting. It was difficult at first, I needed to approach this experience with patience and understanding. The biggest lesson I have learned is to understand that all students are at different levels in their education. It is important to adapt to a specific need for each student in order to make progress every day, in whatever part of learning they are at, from learning to write their name to pronouncing a letter sound. This reflects back onto everyday life with peers and higher authorities, to not have any assumptions of someone's circumstances. Take everything into consideration and never assume someone's conditions they may be going through.