This I Believe

Kenda - Los Angeles, California
Entered on October 7, 2007

I believe that yes, tomorrow will be another day, but why wait to better ourselves when we can do it now. So many people want to be better – eating healthier, recycling, being better parents, be better anything and it’s not always circumstance that holds them back, but they themselves.

Many educators feel that if you don’t put your foot down from the beginning, the year is shot. My first year of teaching I had the hardest time with students, because I felt that if this was true and I hadn’t done a stellar job of behavior and learning expectations from the beginning, then the year was over. I blamed myself for all that went ”wrong.” Only halfway through the year did I decide that no, this would not be true; I would not let it be true for me. Any day could be a new day and I didn’t have to carry the burden of my mistakes due to a lack of experience or common sense. So I started the school day like it was the first. Telling my students what I expected and why, as well as what I was going to do from then on. My kids went with it- it was then I realized that I could be flexible, while still maintaining control in the classroom and my integrity; Which I was so afraid of losing if I made the change. Now I realize that I learned as much from them, if not more, than they from me. But I do know they learned to accept we cannot control everything, and what is under our control is how we react.

Now 5 weeks into my second year it has been much easier to deal with the stresses of education in the public school system, knowing that I will not be less respected or have less integrity if I admit I am wrong. It does not make me less of a person or should bring shame to me. This belief I carry with me and apply as needed. Knowing that it what others think about me is not as important as what I think of myself.