This I Believe

Amy - Bloomington, Illinois
Entered on February 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of teaching. Whether chosen as a profession or simply experienced in daily life, teaching is crucial to human existence. Aside from this, it is also among the most rewarding experiences that one can find. The ability to teach and truly reach out to others boosts the human spirit unlike any other emotion. In classrooms of eager young minds or by setting positive examples for others to follow, teaching has the power to change the lives of students and teachers alike.

Most students can name a teacher who has had an impact upon their life. It is only natural for young men and women to find a companion in a teacher: someone who goes beyond the basic requirements of teaching and becomes a mentor. These teachers become not only role models, but also true friends to students, individuals on whom they can rely for counsel or comfort, no matter what the situation. Such individuals possess the ability to connect with certain students and, whether or not they realize it at the time, change the lives of these young men and women, from their career choices to self-worth. For both students and teachers, the ability to teach or to learn from those extraordinary individuals often alters the lives of both for the better. What could be more rewarding than knowing that you have changed someone’s life or, as a student, that you have found someone in whom to confide and look to for guidance?

In my own life, I have found several teachers who have believed enough in me, a nervous and sometimes hesitant individual, to help me open up in my true life passions. I myself have decided to pursue a career in music education, thanks mainly to my high school band director, who has become a role model and mentor to me over the past two years. Throughout my years as a drum major, he has constantly set positive examples, challenging me in conducting, teaching, and leadership skills that extend beyond the football field, along with giving me opportunities to explore my love of music, from playing experience to placing me in charge of directing rehearsals in his absence. Though I found the idea of being alone in front of nearly fifty musicians petrifying (and still do, to a certain degree), I have learned from it the great reward and pride that comes from knowing that, though my ideas may not have impacted each individual, I had done something to help; something that has perhaps changed someone’s ideas of music for the better, as I know it has changed my outlook on teaching.

I know of no greater human power than that to teach and, by so doing, change lives, even in the smallest of ways. Whether you yourself experience the reward of teaching in a classroom or simply in helping others throughout the day, know that, somewhere, someone’s life has been changed for the better by your help. What could possibly be more rewarding?