Beginning in elementary school, I always had an idea of what my future would entail. I just wanted to teach. I craved a career that had decent hours. I wanted to keep my summer breaks forever. Ten years later, I want the same things, but for very different reasons.
As a senior, I was given the honor to be able to teach our freshman class about poverty and homelessness and how they can help solve the problem. Between all the planning and the first day in the classroom, my life was changed. After learning all about this problem in our global community and wondering about ways to solve it, I was motivated to inspire the next generation. Finally stepping into the classroom, I was able to answer questions, clarify facts, and show a group of young women that they can change the world. Teaching a group of fifteen impressionable teenagers showed me the value of knowledge, the value of discovery, and the value of leadership.
After the first day of teaching, the motives behind my plans changed completely. I no longer value the career of an educator because of the flexible hours or the summer breaks. I believe that by passing knowledge on to our future generation of leaders, we can leave this world in a better place. As President Lyndon B. Johnson once said, “The answer for all our national problems – the answer for all the problems of the world – comes to one single word. That word is ‘education.’” There is no better way to say it; education alone can solve the problems of our world today and those of the future. I now sit in the classroom observing my teachers and sensing a connection with them because of what we together believe it means to be an educator. Being an educator to us means having the will to change the world one life at a time.
I can no longer see myself sitting on the sidelines hoping that this world makes it out all right. I will never be satisfied until I know that I have done everything I can to leave this world in a better place than it was when I entered it. I believe that I am here to help raise the next generation. We all have a special gift that we are meant to leave behind. We are all here to do something extraordinary with our lives. Whether it is managing someone’s money, making a crucial diagnosis, or protecting someone else’s interests in court, we are all here to do something. I was placed here in this world to teach. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.