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The Larry Monroe Scholarship Award 2006

Molly Gallagher's Scholarship Essay


I am a teacher and I love it! I believe I have on of the best jobs in the world! It was in high school when I knew that I wanted to teach elementary school. When I graduated from James Madison University in 1999 I felt like I was ready to conquer the teaching world. I couldn't wait to get started with my teaching career. I knew James Madison had thoroughly prepared me to be an effective teacher and I was ready! I accepted a job teaching 2nd grade at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Annandale, Virginia. Seven years later, I am still at Holy Spirit School and I still believe James Madison University prepared me to be an effective teacher, but I also now know that teachers, Like students, need to be constantly learning and growing. With "No Child Left Behind" and state standards, I need to keep up with the most current practices. In addition, I have seen students with a wide range of abilities walk through my door over the last seven years. These students are with me for nine months and I want to make sure I give them the best education possible. That is why I decided to begin a Masters program in Reading Education at the University of Virginia. The University of Virginia's reading program teaches its students according to the most effective and current practices.

Going to graduate school is expensive, but in my opinion, it is a great investment. I know the practices I learn at The University of Virginia will benefit all the students I teach for years to come. Through the classes I am taking, I am growing as a professional, but I am also giving my students skills to grow too.

Teachers may not be paid as much as other professions, but I believe that I am better rewarded. I am rewarded each time a student reads a new book or learns a new skill. I am rewarded each time a former student comes back and shares with me how well they are doing in school. I am rewarded when a student tells me how much they love school. I am proud of my job and wouldn't change my choice.

In addition to teaching I am a judge for Odyssey of the Mind. I am the faculty representative for the Parents' Teachers' Organization and am the co-moderator for the school's Student Government. I also volunteer for Children's Hospital fundraising events.

I am constantly trying to do what's best for my students and for the school where I teach. My going to graduate school is what's best for my students. The Larry Monroe scholarship would help me achieve my goals to be the best teacher I can be.

Thank you for considering me for the Larry Monroe Scholarship.