Northwestern Team at Opening Day

By Hannah Frizzel, AmeriCorps member on the CSX Team serving at Northwestern Middle School

Thankful - the word means to be glad to have someone or something in your life. The word origin is Latin or maybe it is Greek in origin. Honestly, that’s my best guess because so many words are of Greek or Latin origin. The origin isn’t all that important though. What is important is that I am thankful. Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt said it well, “Every day, I’ve got to be thankful that I am alive, and you never know – the cliché is, I guess you could just get hit by a bus tomorrow, so you’d better be at peace with whatever you got going on at the moment.”

In this moment, I am serving at Northwestern Middle School with a team of nine other people. The public opinion of Northwestern is not always positive. It is hard for teachers to find substitutes because of how the school is perceived. I, however, am thankful to be serving here. I see almost 200 students between two days. There are so many different personalities, and in many of my kids, I see a hint of the type of person I was when I was in middle school. They are a little bit sassy, a lot headstrong, and very smart. I’ve only known these kids for a couple of months, but with all their quirks, they have secured themselves a spot in my heart.

The teachers at Northwestern are a group of some of the best teachers I’ve met in my life. I am in a classroom with a teacher who comes in every day with me because he wants to teach. He has a passion for education and giving students the best chance they have to succeed in the future. I am thankful to be able to serve every day with someone like that, who the students respect.

I am also thankful for the amazing administration. They are supportive and come to work every day with welcoming smiles on their faces. The school is open and welcoming for the all the students, teachers, and parents.

Last, but not least, I’m thankful for the team of fantastic people that I serve with every day. The individuals that make up my team are genuine and willing to be there with an open heart and an open mind every day to work with students who really need us. I’m thankful to be serving with people who made the same decision I did, to serve students and schools. We joined for different reasons, but we serve for the same purpose and that is amazing.

Every day we know that we have lived to serve another day, and that’s a beautiful thing.  

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