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Reflection in Action: Maddie Lussier '23

Our reflection for the week comes from Maddie Lussier, a junior biology major!

Esperanza works to provide Spanish-speaking individuals the ability to be successful in an English-language-driven society. They provide tutoring, scholarship opportunities, and additional educational opportunities so that all members of the Spanish-speaking community in Cleveland can reach their highest potential.

I had to unlearn my traditional way of thinking and learning in order to be fully present with those I am working with. As a perfectionist, I struggled when the students wouldn't quickly pick up on the concepts and ideas we were teaching. However, when I stopped striving for them to reach perfection in every word they said or concept they learned, I found that I was much more successful as a teacher when I didn't expect perfection, but rather progress. Moving through the remainder of the semester, I found peace and comfort that although the students would never be perfect, they were making progress towards their ultimate goal.

Even after my time tutoring came to a conclusion, I have found myself changed by the experience. As a perfectionist, I seek only the best results from myself which led me to become run down and worn out easily. When I stopped expecting perfection from myself all the time and started seeking progress, I found that I had more energy and was a happier person overall. Furthermore, it has led me to gain more from my studies than I ever did prior. When I was reaching for perfection, I never found myself making connections between course material and real life in the way I have since my experience with Esperanza.