By Ava Bynum, Class of 2021
Right before I began my first year of 6th grade at St. Anne’s Episcopal School, I had a train of thoughts streaming through my mind, good and bad. I was very excited for the smaller classes and to be challenged, but transitioning to this new environment came with some worries. I was worried I wouldn’t fit in and, recognizing that many of my new classmates had attended St. Anne’s for years, was worried I would not know as much as my peers. I was especially nervous about how I would do in Spanish because I had limited instruction in that subject. Speaking the language aloud in front of peers had always been a fear of mine; I was worried that my classmates would snicker and laugh at the failure of my pronunciation. Consequently, I would get tense and feel sick to my stomach as I was called on to state something or present a project in Spanish. Although these fears and self-consciousness when speaking Spanish followed me to to the beginning of my first year at St. Anne’s, my experiences at St. Anne’s gave me the confidence to excel.
I have learned how to be challenged and have learned from my mistakes; all the teachers have been there to help me. St. Anne’s has taught me how to be a leader, and I now strive to grow in every one of my classes. Both teachers and classmates have helped me find my voice, helped me grow, and I have so many close friends whom I trust and with whom I enjoy a good laugh. I especially have experienced tremendous growth in Spanish. I have more confidence when having to pronounce in Spanish and have learned so much from details about Christopher Columbus to presenting an entire slideshow about El Salvador. I see myself further growing in this discipline and aspire to travel in the future to different Spanish speaking countries. I am excited to try new foods, to learn about different traditions, and to confidently order food and speak to locals in Spanish. I still have so much to learn about in Spanish and can’t wait to continue my journey in 7th and 8th grade at St. Anne’s.