The Power of Words

Katie - St. Ann, Missouri
Entered on March 1, 2008

Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you. Whoever said that must never have been on a school’s playground. I, like many, heard this growing up. But unlike others, I knew that words were very powerful and very painful. I grew up a target child. By that I mean I was the butt of the jokes, the kid left alone to play by herself, the product of a great deal of hate. To this day, I am not sure why I was hated so much, which really made this hate harder to deal with. Though I have never forgotten the day rocks were thrown at me; I still vividly remember the words thrown at me, the looks, the stares, and the teasing. But I have turned this pain into passion.

I believe we were all put on earth for a reason and that each one of us serves a distinct purpose. I believe my purpose is to teach others about the power of words. I am majoring in English and intend to teach English, but not because I love grammar or spelling or am obsessed with dictionary definitions. I want to teach English because I believe we can learn so much from looking deep within ourselves and putting what we find into words. And I know we can learn so much from one another if we simply just open our ears, eyes, minds, and hearts. If we just shut up for a few moments and simply listen. I said before that I was the target of great hatred and I want my students to really understand the power of their words. I want them to understand the words of hatred and how hurtful they can be. And I want them to understand words of apologies and forgiveness and truly understand what they mean. By looking deep within ourselves, I know we can all learn that we are more alike than we are different and that there is no place for hatred in this world.

I have based my philosophy for teaching on the idea that the world is good and every person is beautiful and amazing in his or her own way. I believe that we are all destined for greatness, but it takes someone to be a spark of inspiration to fully understand this. As a teacher, I can be this person. For right now though, I can only imagine my life in the classroom. I can envision and prepare for the day when I can motivate, encourage, and inspire the young minds that come into my room. It’s not about teaching grammar or syntax; it’s about teaching hope, passion, love, kindness, and understanding. It’s about teaching the power of words.