For this I Believe:
I believe in the power of learning. Education is what makes each of us distinct. Our habits begin with conception in patterns of light and dark; noise and quiet; movement and stillness; comfort and need; fear and safety. When a child’s role models have not helped distinguish healthy patterns, learning is a challenge. It is not an indictment of race, age, or wealth, but a commitment by parents to provide a safe, dependable environment where a child can learn successful habits. A wonder of nature; recognition of pattern; great moments in history; and the beauty of language are made possible by a parent’s joy of sharing the delights in the world.
After teaching in public schools for over 15 years, I believe students have taught me a little something. Last summer, I lost a student with such promise to a random shooting, and have questioned why I teach. We have to be open every moment to alternate ways of looking at the world. High school is a profound culture where desire challenges life’s goals. Their role models are not mine; and the patterns they recognize are not my patterns. I believe they’re learning from the hypocrisy of adult behavior; unequal justice; and a divide of wealth and power. I believe I must fit their lives into my curriculum to help them learn.
I believe we must recognize the importance of a child’s life with support for the most important educational period before school. We can’t say we support life without putting all of our wealth and talents into their early lives. There are support groups but they are funded on shoe strings by churches and communities that beg for every dollar. I believe all of us can learn whether infants, parents or institutions when we are given the support and tools to learn. I believe in the power of education in transforming us. I believe we become more human and more powerful when we are able to learn. I believe our country is founded in a belief that we are never too young or too old, too small or too big to learn. For this I believe.
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