This I Believe

Dr. Robert - Houston, Texas
Entered on October 3, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in public education. As one of those fortunate enough to have had parents who modeled the importance of an education and supported the efforts of my own teachers in both educating and disciplining me, I grew up appreciating those who dedicated their lives to helping the next generation to reach their goals. I remember my mother asking me, when I was very young, what I wanted to be when I grew up. My response, “I want to be a teacher,” brought forth a surprising reaction from her. She told me I was too smart to become a teacher. Even in my youth, that didn’t make sense to me. I remember thinking, “Shouldn’t teachers be the smartest people of all? They have to know so much, and be able to share it in such a way as others are motivated to know it, too!”

My career aspirations went through the typical swings and shifts as I matured – fireman, doctor, lawyer – but when the time came to declare a major and pursue a college degree, I chose education. I couldn’t imagine dedicating a lifetime to any other career. I’ve completed three degrees to this point, all in education. I’ve been a teacher, an assistant principal, a director of instruction, and a principal. I currently serve as a principal of a brand new school opened just this August – a very diverse campus serving just over 1300 middle school students grades six through eight.

I believe educators are, generally, people with very big hearts. We are often maligned by the press and our legislators. Occasionally parents, too, show a lack of support for our work, but, happily, there seems to be a shift in that trend. Our efforts at my current campus have been focused on building strong relationships with our students, their parents, and the greater community. I’m proud to say that the staff on our campus is wholly dedicated and committed to making a difference in the lives of their students. I believe that their commitment and drive have already made a strong impression on our students as well as the adults in our community. I believe that our students know and understand that the adults within these walls care deeply about their success, and will pour heart and soul into their work to ensure that each student is given the opportunity to reach their full potential. I believe that, just by knowing this, our students are more open to what we have to offer them, and are more cooperative and motivated because of it. I believe that the parents and community share the same goals that we do, and that highlighting those commonalities can only help to strengthen the team working toward those goals. I believe that when we work closely together and align our efforts, we are almost assured success. And, I still believe that teachers should be the smartest people there are. We have to be. Our future depends on it.

This, I believe.