"As teachers, we have the power to create success through opportunities. Never should a child leave our classroom feeling less than they arrived. Every day, we need to find new ways for every student to feel the joy of success. As it only takes ONE great experience to change the trajectory of a child’s life."
An outstanding teacher is a force of nature, an earthquake looking for every opportunity to burst through the surface and change the world. The power of an outstanding teacher can generate countless aftershocks long after they’ve passed on. Being a teacher is the role that defines me. However, I was a long shot to succeed; the last kid one can imagine being a teacher.
Most of my childhood felt like an uphill struggle, never quite catching a break. It was the energy and efforts of my wonderful teachers who inspired me to become more than I ever thought I could. My teachers stood as my north star lighting a path to a better life.
My teachers put in the sweat equity to ensure I would have a life of significance - far beyond the immediate horizon. You see, teaching challenges the first law of thermodynamics: energy exerted cannot surpass the energy produced. Yet, a “thousand candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of that single candle will not be shortened”(Buddha). My teachers didn’t come to school to make money, they came to school to make CHANGE!
My students roads have not been easy. They have been pressured with stress, strain, and slippage at fault lines: Miguel, an English Learner, led our marching band to earn a California State Championship despite struggling to read and write; Dominique, an invisible wallflower, felt most alive when she's on stage; and Edgar, fought his way out of poverty to graduate from Georgetown University with Honors. My students rose above their adversities - becoming shock-waves felt throughout the world.
In our classroom epicenters, we must be willing to traverse hazardous terrains, climb over mountains, and persevere through fire itself for our students, "Teaching Beyond All Expectations”.