This I Believe

Blair - Hamden, Connecticut
Entered on December 6, 2007

I believe in facing every day with a smile. I believe a smile is a simple gift with awesome power, a gift meant to be shared with others. I believe a smile can be the answer to many, if not all of life’s problems. I believe learning to smile through life is an important lesson and I believe in education and its power to teach that lesson.

As a student of the teaching profession, I often recall my own journey through education. Reflecting back on my elementary, middle, and high school experience, I found I remember few history dates, or foreign language vocabulary words, or science experiments, or English books, or art projects. I do remember though the teachers who touched my life and became more than just teachers, the friends I made and lost along the way, the class trips, and the late nights. The good and the bad times, I remember them all with a smile.

Most importantly, I remember the life lessons I learned. I learned how to share, how to apologize, how to be sympathetic, how to debate and how to ask questions. I learned how to take responsibility, how to be respectful, how to make friends, how to relate to others, and how a simple smile can brighten up anyone’s day.

I believe that these lessons are the purpose of education. I believe education is more than just a curriculum and more than just assessment tests and learning theories and teaching styles and a mere means to an end. I believe education is not simply about learning to read and write, add and subtract, take the SATs and apply to college. I believe the most important thing we learn through our education is how to interact with others. I believe in education as preparation for life, a teaching of the whole person. As a future teacher, I believe in this philosophy of education.

I believe that education is a precious gift. It is an investment we make in children as we entrust them with the future. I believe a smile is one of a teacher’s most powerful tools. It gives us the ability to lift students up, to make them feel valued and loved. It gives us the ability to be more than just an educator and to become a friend.

As a future educator I have an awesome power to teach children and to touch their lives. However, I will teach students more than just a curriculum; I will teach them the lessons that ultimately carry us all through life. I believe a teacher is not just someone who imparts knowledge. A teacher is a friend who greets us every morning with a smile, a smile that makes us smile back, makes us excited and eager to learn, and makes us better, brighter, happier people.

I believe learning to smile through life is one of the most important lessons we all can take away from our education. I believe that a smile has tremendous power to positively influence the lives of others and consequently the world.