This I Believe

Michelle - Lexington, Kentucky
Entered on September 16, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

As I approached my 40th birthday, I realized that in order to experience true happiness and fulfillment in life, I needed to discover my passion. To celebrate this milestone, my children presented me with a card that read “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I live in or the kind of car I drove, but that the world may be a different place because I was important in the life of a child”. Although they gave me this card to thank me for all that I had done for them, this quote spoke directly to my heart. In quiet reflection, I realized that most of the joy and happiness I had experienced in life had centered on children.

The simple words of that birthday card defined my search and give direction to my passion. I entered college in my mid forties, and received my teaching certificate in four years. Now after teaching only one year in a high poverty, at risk elementary school in Lexington, Kentucky, I have constructed a very heartfelt belief about educating our children, the future leaders of our nation.

I believe that all children, regardless of their race, culture or disability can learn and that all children can succeed.

I believe that it is our responsibility as educators to provide an atmosphere and environment where learning and success can happen for all students.

I believe that we as teachers must set high expectations for all students and expect all students to succeed.

I believe that by setting high expectations for all students, my students will recognize that I have confidence in their ability to succeed and this will increase their belief in themselves.

I believe that all students are entitled to participate in a democratic classroom where they can feel safe to share their ideas and beliefs. In doing so I believe that they will consider themselves contributing members of a community.

I believe that it is our utmost responsibility as educators to design lessons that engage all students in learning regardless of their race, culture, or disability.

I believe that we must teach lessons that have real world value so that our students may take these lessons and apply them to their lives at school, at home and in their community.

So you see, as a teacher I too am learning. I am learning from the young people I welcome into my classroom every morning. My students are directly responsible for my success as an educator and they are totally responsible for shaping the beliefs I have shared in this esssay.