This I Believe

Bruce - 78258, Texas
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that my profession as a teacher is the most important one in the world. Without my profession, I would not have my family doctor, my truck mechanic, or my dry cleaning person who always recognizes me. Unfortunately, without my profession, I would also not have thieves, internet criminals, and murderers. My profession affords us who teach an opportunity every single day of the school year to make a choice that will lead human beings on one road or another. As with any profession, there are good teachers doing extraordinary work with those opportunities and bad teachers doing poor work with those same opportunities. I am a teacher of English and reading and have been a professional in my field for 26 years.

I believe my profession as a teacher touches every single student that I have taught, reprimanded, said hello to, made feel safe and secure, and helped smile when that was the last thing he or she wanted to do.

I believe my profession as a teacher is a gift given to me, and I truly believe that I am destined to perform this job. During the summer after my freshman year in college, I was working at an athletic club with a good friend from high school. He and I were on break when he asked me what I would declare as my major. Before I could answer, he said that since I got along with people so well I should teach. I thought about this for two to three minutes and said that I loved reading, so maybe being an English teacher would work for me. At that moment, there was a feeling that came over me making me feel safe, secure, and at peace with myself in the knowledge of my chosen profession. It seemed, and still does seem, so right and so natural for me.

Next year the R & B group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes came out with a song titled “Wake Up Everybody.” In the song is a lyric that goes “Wake up all the teachers, time to teach a new way.” The stanza speaks of the importance of teachers and the role they play in shaping the future. I used those lines in a speech I made that year on what I wanted to do with my life, and then, as now, I still get goose bumps when I sing the lines or hear the song. It confirmed for me what I was to do; the message was and still is not lost on why I am here.

I believe that my profession as a teacher is the most important one because along with people being given the education they need to pursue their goals, there are those people who do not get the education they need. Their goals dissolve in our prisons, walk aimlessly on our streets, and lay forever silent in our cemeteries. There is no other profession that has the power to influence the fate of every person it touches in so many different ways.

This I hold to my heart, and this I believe.