This I Believe

I believe in the power of education.  In its ability to eradicate ignorance, prejudice and poverty.  I believe in the teachers who dedicate their lives to the task of educating our young because through them our world will either flourish or flounder. 

I believe in the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who devote their lives to educating the ones they love. 

My great-grandmother was one of these individuals.  She was devoted to my education.  Each day after school she helped me practice my spelling words; she helped me with math, and she encouraged me to read aloud so I would be proficient when reading silently as well as orally.  Through her devotion, I cultivated my love of reading and learning.

Through her vegetable garden she taught me the importance of eating well. “If you don’t finish your vegetables, I will pour them in your ear,” she would say.  She taught me how to cook by allowing me to help her in the kitchen.  Angel biscuits and bacon soup were our specialties.

Through her love and devotion, my great-grandmother educated me about not only the scholarly but about the spiritual as well.  We practiced the Lord’s Prayer until it was committed to my memory and I could recite it by heart.  She taught me to have faith and to believe in the good of others.  She taught me to have patience, to laugh and to always have fun.  She taught me to love whole-heartedly without fear.  She taught me that I am a person of importance and that I can make a difference in the world.

My great-grandmother taught me the power and importance of education.  She fostered my self-belief and my dreams.  It is because of her that I believe in education.  In its transformative powers.  It is because of her that I became an educator, and it is because of her that I know the difference one teacher, one parent, one friend can make in a life.

I hope you enjoyed my This I Believe essay.  I encourage you to listen to the powerful This I Believe essays published at NPR.  Share them with your students and have them write their own.

Take a couple of minutes to visit Mr. Stevens’s site for some examples of student essays… and while you are at it, read a few and leave your encouraging comments.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Education, English, NPR, reflection, Storytelling, This I Believe, Writing

2 Comments on “This I Believe”

  1. kstringer Says:

    beautiful. I have always admired your dedication, and enthusiasm, now I know where you got it from.

  2. Sara Says:

    Now, my daughter, you know who my teacher was!

    As she taught you…years before she taught me.

    We were blessed with a wonderful, loving teacher.

    I know she is as proud of you as I am!

    Very beautiful and very true.


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