Profile Essay Example #1
|Notice how the writer incorporates
specific examples into her essay so that the reader is shown, rather than
told why Mr. Washington is an everyday hero.
She does a particularly good job of incorporating dialogue into her essay where appropriate, but also uses it sparingly, only where it is absolutely necessary to provide a more distinct picture of Mr. Washington.
Also note how she formats her parenthetical citations and her works cited page.
by Ashley Busada
Many come across a teacher that makes them feel a part of something grand. These teachers have the ability to open eyes to new realities. They have a way of making students feel that things would not be complete without them. I had the good fortune of having a sixth grade choir director that fits the mold of this special type of teacher. Charles Washington, a unique person, has in some way impacted every child’s life that has been part of his choir or piano class.
I had the honor of working with Mr. Washington in my first year of middle school. For me, middle school was a big adjustment and an awkward period in my life. Since I was entering a new school and starting my teenage years, I had to find my place among the many new faces and determine where I fit in. I was thankful to have met Mr. Washington and be part of his music class. Wanting to be a part of the honor choir was a large goal for someone whose talents were not in singing. Mr. Washington knew how important it was for sixth graders to get involved early in the school year in order to keep them focused. He recognized my drive to be in the honor choir and allowed me the experience. He made every student in the choir, regardless of their subject/pronoun agreement error talent; misuse of semicolon feel as though the school choir would not be complete if they subject/pronoun agreement error were not a part of it.
Mr. Washington came to Youree Drive Middle School when the music program was in a state of intensive care. The future of the music program was heading in the wrong direction. The only choir class offered was first period and had 24 students, and the piano class only had three periods. In the next four years the choir class grew to 150 students, and the piano class grew so much that the band teacher had to step in and teach a class. Mr. Washington took the choir class to district and state festivals and made superior ratings each of the seven years he was choir director. In order for every student to be able to participate in the competitions, Mr. Washington would pay the expenses for those who could not afford it. He believed everyone deserved the opportunity to compete.
Mr. Washington’s two passions in life are music and working with students. He put his two passions together in a creative way and used them to help students learn other elements in life. He feels if he can establish a common interest then he can use that to teach them discipline, teamwork, self-respect, the importance of high personal expectations, and doing your very best at everything you do. He believes that music is a good vehicle to teach students other elements which make them better overall. He believes that the values and beliefs that you teach students in the music classroom will carry over into other aspects of the student’s life. Mr. Washington knew of a student with a discipline problem at the school, and he worked out a way to enroll that student in his choir class. He believed he could watch over him to keep him out of trouble while providing activities to occupy his time. During the remainder of the school year, the student turned his life around by staying out of trouble and getting more involved in the choir program. “If I can expose students to the feeling of success in the music groups, they will want to achieve in other areas of their lives. I want the students to see how good it feels to be on top so that they will want to stay there.”(Washington)
The story does not end in the classrooms of Youree Drive Middle School. Mr. Washington also works with the kids of his community after school and during weekends to help them develop their talents. He helps them develop an appreciation for the arts by taking them to musical performances and getting them involved with his church choir activities. He is a youth and music director at his church and works as an instructor in the Upward Bound Program, a tutorial and enrichment program for at risk high school students, at Southern University in Shreveport . However, even if music was not an interest of a particular student, Mr. Washington made it possible for kids who had no transportation to be involved in after school activities by offering to stay long hours after school in order to take them home when their activities were complete.
Through all his work with students in and out of the classroom, every student leaves with a greater sense of self worth and high respect for what is right and good. He explains to parents every year at back to school night that he never has major discipline problems with his students. His philosophy is simple. He believes in teaching his students the principles of “gentlemenship,” meaning how to conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen in every aspect of life. By doing this he moves past the obstacle of inappropriate behavior that some use as an excuse to fall below expectations. “By doing what is right and acting with fairness and dignity, success is never far behind.” (Washington) The lessons he teaches are evident when he takes his students to perform in public. Mr. Washington is very proud of how his students behave during public appearances and rewards them by choosing “the most improved students” to perform solos at future performances.
To find a person that thrives on spending extra time outside his or her normal work day is not always easy. In addition, this type of invaluable contribution is often unseen and unheralded. Why would someone without a family or kids want to spend the extra time with students even though he doesn’t get paid? He told me “When I know that I have helped to make their middle school experience an enjoyable one, I experience an inner joy and personal satisfaction that is worth more than any amount of money.” He went on to add “basically I spend the extra time with students because it’s what I enjoy doing. I only hope they enjoy being with me as much as I enjoy being with them.” (Washington). A teacher, a mentor, an unsung hero, Charles Washington is a person that changes the lives of students on a day to day basis without ever expecting praise or recognition.
Washington,Charles. Personal interview.
9 Sept. 2005.