Who are your heroes?
I've blogged a lot about one of mine... my brother-in-law, Curtis. If you go back in the archives of All-en-A-Day's Work, you'll see his name mentioned more than once. Remember the What is it about small towns? post or My Cowboy Heroes post? Lately, my sister's text messages haven't been very positive and I long to sit with her over a cup of tea. And she ends each message with a one word tagline, BELIEVE. And, as his cancer spreads, I think it's the perfect tag. I think it's her faith that gives her the courage to know that her love of almost 50 years will fight this disease like the true cowboy he is... cowboys are tough!
Isn't it our beliefs that define who we are? In everything? As wise educators, I think we are always on a path of redefining and refining our beliefs. We read professionally to strengthen our beliefs. We talk with the peers we trust to strengthen and widen our underpinnings so that they can continue to be a stronghold in our learning and the learning of our children. We scour our bookshelves for old favorite books to re-energize our literacy workshops and we spend money we don't have on new books to add to our collections. We read blogs. We write blogs. We hone our craft to make our instruction meet the needs of our students. We think about the learners of today and their role in the 21st century. We muck about and try new things out... blending it with what we know to make our instruction rich and wise and meaningful. We reread the work of our favorite educators to nudge us forward (Don, Shelley, Ralph, Don, Katie, Frank, Debbie, Franki, Karen, Ellin, Cris, Chryse, Susan, Regie, Stephanie, Anne, and so many others).
And, one simple word guides us... BELIEVE!
Today our classrooms are being infiltrated with jargon, programs, and test-driven data. Talk show hosts who have more money than they know what to do with rant about the state of our profession. The newspaper and internet run rampant with news that weighs on our shoulders like a ton of bricks. So many educators today have a "just tell me what to do" attitude. Parents question our philosophies and teaching practices without understanding how hard we work to bring our best thinking into our classrooms.
And yet... we BELIEVE. We believe that there isn't a grander profession, a more worthy profession than being a teacher... and we fight the things that plague our profession by stepping into our classrooms each day to meet a group of children who need us to believe in them and their gifts. "Howdy, Kids... what are we going to do today... together?"
So today my blog is again dedicated to Curtis. If you are a reader who prays, please do so for him. We all need someone near us to help us... BELIEVE!