I wrote this a few years ago as part of assigned writing for the Greater Madison Writing Project’s cohort. I leave it here on my home page to remind me of why I teach.
I finally realized that being powerful is within me; it is, in fact, within each of us. Some of us fear it, shy away from it, think we are not worthy. Nelson Mandela said once in a speech “our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I think he may be right. In the end, it won’t be about what others think of you–it will be what you think of you- that you live a life you are proud of. All of it. Not just the kind of person you are or what you believe in, but how you live what you believe. Yes, life has rules and expectations, but I have often let those constraints prevent me from moving forward. I take a side, but not a stand. No more.
This is what I believe:
I need to stop hiding the power within me. It will come out. In small bits. But it will come.
Creating a family with my husband is the best thing I’ve ever done. It, more than anything else that has happened to me, has helped me become the person I am. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Life can have complications, but our purpose I think is very simple. We all just want to be happy. We should spend more time doing things that make us happy.
As human beings, we focus too much on “I”. If we spent half that time thinking of others-at least mentally walking in another person’s shoes-what they may be thinking, feeling, needing in a given moment– we would have a better world.
Being a learner is one of the most important things we should help our kids understand. That and being literate. Do you really need to remember how to write an argument essay? Or what it said on pg 22 of The Outsiders? Nope. But you better know how to figure it out if you don’t. Which means you need to learn how to learn.
I AM a teacher. I’ve wondered for quite some time if this is my calling. I don’t wonder that anymore. My job is to help kids realize themselves into better human beings. Learning to get along in the world and to cope with others is just as important as learning how to write an essay, to solve a complicated math expression, or to finish a lab. And that is why I’m here.
Everything step or misstep we take brings us to some crucial life lesson. Sometimes I lose my way and wonder why I am where I am, what I’m supposed to learn. Then the pieces fall in place and I just know. It took 4 years to realize why I’m here at Kromrey teaching again. And now I know. It was to have this experience of learning who I am as a writer. I can feel the flow that comes with knowing. I will be better for it.
I can be creative and fearless because being fearless isn’t just about taking chances-it’s also knowing you are as smart as the next guy really. It’s knowing the rules aren’t stone-they are moldable. Which means everything is open to interpretation.
I believe kids can be and have and think all these things too –if we just show them how–if we engage them in a way that matters to them. If we stay connected and continue to care.
Now its time to write your own I Believe. Take the challenge!