An Easy Fix for Education

Alison - Portland, Oregon
Entered on January 4, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: love, place

This I believe… love belongs in every classroom. There are many meanings for the word love, so when I say love I mean what Webster’s defines as the feeling of attachment, devotion or admiration; unselfish, loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. I define the love I bring to the classroom as taking the time and effort needed to get my know each of my students, pinpoint their strengths and accentuate them and, also, discover what motivates or excites them and use it to teach. Basically, I want to discover what makes them unique and appreciate it. I want to find their individual talents and recognize them, strengthen them and empower my students with competence for their futures.

Our country’s education system, perhaps unintentionally, is evolving into a “one size fits all” system. Love fights this injustice. Our students are not machines that all respond to one formula for success. Everyone has something different to offer this world and I, as a teacher, can’t let NCLB or other laws and requirements take that truth out of my teaching .My love for my students creates a prolific community in the classroom, full of acceptance and understanding. Hopefully their experience will inspire them to go on and recreate that acceptance in the global society.

All people deserve love, no matter their background, economic status or home life. Of course, some students need more than others because of the lack of love in other parts of their lives. I believe my job does not require me to do charity work or“save” my students in my classroom. My job is to equip my students with the abilities to succeed for themselves. Every person deserves the chance to find their talent, use it to contribute to this world’s society and to find happiness in doing that. I believe each experience of love produces a little spark of new confidence that can carry each person just a little closer to that happiness. Teaching allows me the opportunity to be one more loving influence in my students’ lives and I cannot ignore that opportunity.

I was assigned this “This I believe” statement for one of my graduate courses as I work to get my Masters in Education. In my program, we are examining our education system and the problems and obstacles we face as teachers. As educators, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all the legislation and requirements put on us by our government. It almost seems impossible to accomplish all the goals we have for our classrooms. Teachers appear to need a set of super human abilities to overcome all the challenges in today’s classrooms. Of course, we want to succeed for the sake of our students, our administrators, our society as a whole. It is a VERY hard job… but the more I think about it, I feel like love is the simple answer. Maybe we are getting to caught up in the political hype and we should remind ourselves and each other to keep it simple and believe in the simple answers, like love, and use the incredible power it carries to all humans to succeed and enable others to succeed. When asked how to improve teacher quality, look for love because when someone comes with the passion and commitment love brings it is that teacher who will truly reach and influence their students. Love carries an incredible power to touch and inspire people of all backgrounds. It unites families and communities and needs to be an essential part of every successful school.