IMG_1393This is the time of year where we all take the time to look back and appreciate all the good things we have in our lives. This year, I am overwhelmed by the number of experiences and people I have in my life to be grateful for, and in this post I’ll highlight a few of those things.

In general, I am grateful for my experience as an LV. I have learned so much and grown so much in such a short time that I have a hard time really believing it. Each day, I learn about what works in the classroom and what doesn’t, and I am able to use my mistakes and challenges as opportunities for growth. I am learning how to be creative and innovative in a way that I never imagined I could. It has felt incredible developing my professional self and learning how to best serve my students. I’m grateful to be able to say that the “real world” is not as scary as I thought it would be!

I am so blessed to have so much support in this adventure, at De La Salle Academy and for myself. There is so much unity and cohesion between the faculty, the Brothers, the students and their families, and that simple communication is what has set the Academy on the road to success. I have received a ton of support on this journey, and I would not have made it this far without it. Phone calls home to family and friends, community dinners lasting for hours, staff meetings that last far too long because we spend half the time sharing stories about our days: these are the things that have made my time in California so wonderful thus far. I truly feel as though I have been welcomed with open arms, and I am so lucky to have so many kind and caring people in my corner.

I am grateful for my students. I learn more from them each day than I could ever hope to teach them. They have shown me what it means to be compassionate and hard-working while keeping a positive attitude and a sense of humor. They’ve also tried to teach me a few dances and how to do my hair, but those did not go over as well. I am so proud of how far they have come in a few short months, and I am extremely excited to see the amazing places they will go. I have all the confidence in them, and I’m blessed to have worked with them.

Finally, I am grateful for the challenges. I worry that this blog post could be misread as me saying, “Look how perfect everything is!” Don’t get me wrong, we face plenty of challenges at the Academy. Some students argue with us and with one another, some call out, some refuse to listen, and some simply don’t know what in the world I am talking about. But I see all of these issues and challenges as a way for me to adapt and grow to better help the school. I have changed a lot of my own strategies because I have seen clearly what does and does not work. These challenges keep me on my toes and help me to avoid getting stale or boring, because that won’t serve anybody.

The long days and tough classes remind me that there is always work to be done and improvements to be made. I am so glad that I have the opportunity to keep working and to keep getting better. These opportunities have allowed me to become a better teacher and a more conscientious person, and I cannot say how much that means. Needless to say, I am blessed.

Anthony Carbone, 14-15, De La Salle Academy, Concord, CA

Anthony Carbone is a 1st year LV serving at De La Salle Academy in Concord, CA. Anthony is a 2014 graduate of La Salle University in Philadelphia, PA.