Jessica Barnhart

"Don't Blink"

Blog Post created by Jessica Barnhart on Apr 24, 2020

It's a verse to a song, something my parents say, and it's something I wish I never did; Blink. Because all of a sudden, it was over...

I remember sitting in the Derry Ag Building and my ag teachers pushing me to at least apply for college. I remember the tears when I first moved to Penn State Altoona. The happiness during my first Ag Awareness Day, the friends I made, and then I moved again with lots of tears up to University Park with a new major of Agricultural and Extension Education.

I remember finally feeling a sense of belonging, taking my first AEE class and meeting those people who where to be in my cohort. The laughs we had, the places we went, the hard times that bonded us like I have never been bonded to a group of people.

I remember accidentally stumbling across my Cooperating Center because of the PA Wildlife CDE. Nervous for my placement interview, crossing my fingers that they see what I saw and then being officially placed at Brockway Area High which was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

I remember the nights we stayed on campus until 2:00am. When we got a lot done, but I think the true reason we did it was to stay with each other longer because we knew it wouldn't be long until we would be apart. The plane ride across the country, the cohort pictures and the nights spent just talking to eachother. I remember tears of happiness rolling down my face at the end of final presentations because I truthfully felt like I could tackle the world.


I remember, and I will never forget, the first time I truthfully felt like I had made a difference, the pranks that my students had pulled, the late nights and early mornings, the pure joy I had teaching these bright young minds and the pain I felt when I couldn't say goodbye.

I'm telling you, please don't blink.

Because when I think about all I have done and all of those people who truly have made me who I am, I want to go back.

Kyle Norman and Matt Holt, thank you for treating me like I was the third teacher in your program. I can't begin to explain how lucky I feel to have had an experience were I was able to learn things outside of my comfort zone (including all of the spicy foods). I was never told "no" to an idea and always was encouraged to experiment and explore and it truly will make me a better teacher when I land that first job.

My students, thank you for always being patient with me while I learn. You're all in my heart, you're part of my story and I miss you all like crazy. You're all amazing individuals and I can't wait to see how high you fly.

Penn State Family, each one of you have pushed me to grow to be the best educator that I can be. Your constant support is an act that has really made a difference in my life and I know this journey is only the beginning. Thank you.



Here's to #psuaged20