The first artifact of mine is a journal. In high school, I took an educational class at the University of Akron and for that class, I had to keep a journal of observations I made while observing two of my high school math teachers. A lot of sweat and tears went into perfecting this journal. This journal is filled with more than just observations that I wrote down about both of my teachers, but it is also filled with comments, questions, and concerns that occurred to me while I was observing.
This journal is important to me because it is one of the many stepping stones to becoming a high school math teacher. Aside from wanting a good grade, I invested a lot of time in making sure that this journal was perfect for personal reasons. I wanted to make sure that teaching was something that I could see myself doing. This experience has allowed me to observe and learn different types of teachers, students, teaching methods, and other things. It made me fall in love with teaching more because of the environment that was created in both of the classrooms. I am big on inclusivity and the two classrooms that I observed had a lot of inclusivity with the students and engagement between everyone. I strive to have a classroom setting similar to that one. This artifact secured my decision on being a high school teacher. The entire experience and the journal inspired me to continue to do something in a similar manner at local Columbus school in order to further my teaching and leadership skills. A lot of work went into perfecting this journal and I am glad I got the opportunity to share my thoughts, comments, and questions with others.
The second artifact of mine is a pin. The pin says “First Gen: Ohio State”. I got this pin while I was tabling for another organization that I participate in, which is the Buckeyes First Student Organization. At the beginning of the semester, I participated in the Buckeyes First Early Arrival Program and it was an exciting experience for me. I also got a free shirt too! I decided to participate in that program because I did not think in-depth about that particular identity. I knew that neither of my parents went to college, but I did not know that would introduce me to a new identity at Ohio State University. I am considered a First Generation college student and I am proud of that.
This pin is important to me because it allows me to show others that I am first and that I will lead future scholars. The pin reminds me that I have an identity that I am allowed to embrace and be proud of. The Buckeyes First Early Arrival Program introduced me to other people who share the same identity as me and it allowed me to form meaningful bonds. The organization and the program allowed me to share my story and feelings about this identity. Both allowed me to network with others that will help me create an environment for future first-generation students. Both taught me how to embrace and appreciate my new identity and that I am not alone in this process. Both taught me how to navigate through college as a first-generation student. This pin is a reminder of important lessons and tips that both the program and the organization shared with me. Not a lot of students can say that they are a first-generation student and I am proud to hold that identity. I am the first one to set the path for future generations to walk down. I am the first one to live out the dreams that my parents and I have. This pin is now displayed on my bookbag for everyone to see. As I continue through my years at OSU, I will lead and teach other first-generation college students who may not have had the opportunity to be a part of two amazing communities.