Why I Teach

Posted on August 25, 2016

We believe education is rooted in community. Our schools are built upon this idea and we believe in preparing our students with a solid academic foundation so that they can fulfill their aspirations. Jeanette Lemelle, a third grade teacher at Ripley House Elementary, writes about her desire to ignite and nurture each student’s talents and strengths, preparing them to become the civic-minded leaders of tomorrow.

Every year children come to me having learned so much from the world they already live in. And contrary to popular belief, my job is not to fill a child with knowledge, teach them my way and create a new path for them. My job is to hold their hand as they navigate their own path, guiding them so that they can reach their full potential.

“Life loves to be taken by the lapel and told: I’m with you kid. Let’s go.” – Maya Angelou

Every year we take a journey of discovery and exploration together. I don’t teach them what to think, but how to critically process everything around them on their journey. My job is not to choose the next direction in their path but help steer them around the next turn that is right for them.

Last year, I had a student who was very timid and was reluctant to talk to anyone. But as the months went by, he started to transform. By the end of the year he was dancing in the school show. He even gave a speech to fellow peers about how to be confident on the STAAR Test. I witnessed him blossom and shed light to others around him. I learned that the brighter students’ shine, the more they can understand everything around them on their own.

Every child has a specific purpose to fulfill in this life. I have the privilege of helping them blossom into the future they foresee for themselves. They come to me with potential and leave with the capacity to go down whatever path they are willing to take. I have succeeded in letting light ignite the curiosity that burns inside of them.

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I teach children how to embrace, hold, and never let go of their greatness. Each of them is a solution to a problem we currently see. I teach because I believe in our tomorrow. I teach because I believe in every child. I teach because I cannot change the world on my own, but educated children can help shape the better world we want to see.

Can you believe I get to do this?
Me neither.