I had first heard of Whitney while student teaching in a speech class in Yukon, Oklahoma. The students there touted her name as the next sensational star, and I soon came to love her music (I Wanna Dance with Somebody). She seemed wholesome enough at the time, and I really enjoyed the words to a song called The Greatest Love of All.
I believe the children are our future
Years later, and I still believe children are our future. One wouldn't want a teacher who believed anything different, would one? But it runs deeper than that. Belief, for me, is never enough. It's not enough in my spiritual life, and it's not my way of thinking in my professional life. You see, every teacher worth his salt will tell you he believes that children are our future, but when it comes to applying that belief, some don't know what to think. The reality is the implication that comes along with that belief: if children are our future, and if I am a teacher of children, don't you think I have some responsibility for what this world is like in the future? That's serious!
One of the things master teacher Ron Clark talks about (Ron Clark is the developer of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia.) is his belief that a future president IS sitting in his classroom. He emphasizes that he has to think in such terms in order to understand the serious responsibility he has as a teacher. I know the odds of a future president coming through my fourth grade classroom in Joplin, Missouri, are slim to none, but it could happen. If a president could come be born in Lamar, Missouri, another one could come from a few miles south of there.
And there you have it. There is one reason why I wish to teach my students the manners of respect to others: Teach them well, and let them lead the way/Show them all the beauty they possess inside/Give them a sense of pride. Those words become more and more important as I instruct students on how to greet others, how to speak publicly, how to address and impress adults. Beauty, pride, leadership, and an eye toward the future. These will come in handy.