If you do not make a difference, then what have you made? This question has guided me in my pursuit of life, not simply my pursuit of a career. Visualize a typical drug dealer making his way on the addictions of others. Imagine sitting down with him and discussing his life, his past, his hopes and dreams, and how he got to the point where he is at. More than likely, you will have to adapt to his lingo, the broken English of the streets. What would his story hold? Perhaps his parents were alcoholics or drug abusers themselves. Maybe he lived with only one parent or none at all. His friends, the ones he would turn to and felt comfortable with, maybe they lead him to a life on the streets, to being a drug pusher. However he got there, odds are high that it was without a high school diploma and in reality, an education that was many grades below the last one he officially finished.
On the other extreme, picture a highly intelligent student that one day chooses to bring a weapon to school…and use it. Maybe he doesn’t bring a weapon to school and graduates with high honors, even some awards. He goes on to a respectable career with computers or the post office or a business executive. His neighbors regard him as a decent citizen, a good person. One day, however, he does pick up a gun and innocent lives are taken. A child is left fatherless because of his acts, a sister suddenly an only child.
The two above examples both are representative of different extremes towards a negative impact a person can have. You may wonder how they are linked to education when one example shows a graduate with high honors and the other a high school dropout. The point is not to show that the f...
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From there, as a teacher I plan to accept the greatest responsibility a person can have. I’m determined to make a difference. Students need guidance and we each have a duty not to wait for someone else to help change the world, one person at a time. As I mentioned in the beginning, if you have not made a difference, what have you made? To borrow from Ernest Melby, "one of the most important things a teacher can do is to send the pupil home in the afternoon liking himself just a little better than when he came in that morning." Wouldn’t it be great if this somewhat common idealistic vision was really put into motion? Wouldn’t it be great that if after actually teaching a class this ‘change the world’ attitude stuck instead of reverting to relying on others to mend our society? It would be great, and so will I. More importantly, so will my pupils.
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