Editor’s Note: What follows is the essay Maggie Balsley wrote which was selected as the best representation of the RVMS mission. In addition to winning the contest, Balsley, who is going to be an eighth grader during the 2012-13 school year, won tickets to a Minnesota Twins game and was able to throw out the first pitch at the game.
What the mission statement means to me
By Maggie Balsley
The mission statement “challenge, learn, achieve,” means a lot to me. Being new to the Redwood Valley Middle School is not easy. When I got here my grades started dropping, because I was not doing so well, and I did not have many grades in the book. To tell you the truth I did not think I would make the B Honor Roll.
Fortunately, one of my teachers had told me the statement, challenge, learn, achieve, and I decided to put it to use.
Challenge – to me means to make my mind think twice as hard as it’s used to which for me is a lot harder than usual. I think that maybe if I can challenge my mind then I will be able to achieve my goals which are to succeed.
I thought about how I could challenge myself. This I did in many ways. I started with my homework. If there was an assignment that was not due for two or three days I would get a head start on it, or if there was something I?needed help on I would stay after school that day to get help, instead of waiting until the last minute and getting it marked late because I did not know how to do it.
Learn – to me means to discover new things by listening to other people talk. Which again for me is not as easy as it sounds – mainly because I don’t like to listen to other people as much as I like to have other people listen to me. I started thinking about how much time I spend sitting in class daydreaming. While the teacher was teaching, I was not paying attention, which meant that I was not learning. So I told myself that if I did not start paying attention, which meant that I was not learning. So I told myself that if I did not start paying attention that my grades would drop even lower. Knowing this, I started thinking about how I could fix it.
I?then decided that if I wanted to pay more attention, and be more alert, then I would have to fix more than one thing. I would have to sit up straight so that I wouldn’t want to lay my head on my hand and rest. Also I would start raising my hand while the teacher was teaching, so that I would not forget that I did not understand.
Page 2 of 2 - Succeed – to me means to exceed the standards of your own mind. I started to do better in school. Whenever I thought I was coming close to getting a bad grade, I would stay after school to get help.
As the end of the school year grows nearer, I have found out that as you get older and continue to progress in school, the work gets tougher and the classes get harder.
To me the mission statement “challenge, learn, achieve,” is the reason that I am able to succeed. It is also the reason that I can be proud of myself, and be able to enjoy the fact that I was able to accomplish so much just using one simple, three word statement. This simple, three word, statement is what helped me to succeed in school and extracurricular activities. I currently have better grades and am doing well in other things. I do this by using the statement, and breaking it into steps.
There are going to be many ways and excuses that each and every one of us will use to get out of doing things that we are afraid of failing at, but there are also ways to overcome those fears. There are ways to make it through everything that comes to us and blocks our path.
All in all there are going to be obstacles in the big world, and we are just going to have to overcome our fears and jump the hurdles.
Sometimes we might have to find our way out of the maze all by ourselves and all of us can do it as long as we have goals or a person who is going to rely on us to help them succeed.
Challenge, learn, achieve is the only thing that has kept me going throughout the three and a half months that I have been a Redwood Valley Middle School student.