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Lead from the Start: This I Believe MEME...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This I Believe MEME...

My friend and mentor Bill Ferriter tagged me a while ago before I moved to Inside Pre-K to participate in a blog MEME. He asked me to write a post based on the National Public Radio seriesThis I Believewhere individuals share essays they have written that enumerate their philosophies.

This I Believe...

Education is the thread that creates the tapestry of America. Teachers spin the strong yarn of many colors, shades, and tones of America’s people by pulling, stretching, and expanding students’ minds. The lives of America’s people, woven together, are varied and bright, and when seen from afar, create a tapestry that shows the most important philosophy of the American experiment: possibility. The tapestries of countries without a strong educational system are pictures of what has always been. Poor farmers’ children grow up to be poor farmers, factory workers’ children grow up to be factory workers. Because of teachers, these children can grow up to be inventors, scientists, or teachers. But most importantly, no matter where the children come from, they are able to pursue happiness through gainful work that contributes to society.

I have seen the truth of this philosophy in the community where I teach. My former pre-k student Zasheen’s mother came from a family that did not value education. She works in a low wage job that she does not value, because when she was a teenager, she saw a lack of possibility in the pursuit of education. But, Zasheen’s mother chose to emphasize the importance of education as a means to a brighter future by enrolling Zasheen and his brother in pre-k. Now Zasheen’s thread is strong--each new teacher contributing to its strength--but it can be broken by any teacher along the way, especially in the early years. The importance of a high quality education to the thread of Zasheen’s life, as it is passed from teacher to teacher, is part of his mother’s dream.

Because of the American right to education for all, teachers can expand our horizons to the wider world. Pre-k is a part of that right, the right to choose what is best for our children. We are not bound by our personal histories or those of our families and our communities. Because of education, we are able to see past what we have always known. The tapestry of education shows us what can be. In every child, America’s teachers spin as strong a yarn as they know how. Each teacher in a child’s educational career adds their personal strength to the yarn that will become a child’s future. It is up to the child to determine where he or she will fit in the tapestry of America, but it is teachers who make it possible to have a choice.

This I Believe

Uh, What's A Meme?

Here is a brief description of what a MEME is.

Some of you out there don't know a meme from a hole in the ground but that's ok. I'll bring you up to speed.

The short definition is "a unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another."

However, that definition is incomplete as it relates to an Internet meme which "occurs when something relatively unknown becomes increasingly popular, often quite suddenly, through the mass propagation of media content made feasible by the Internet" technology.

Here is the challenge: A Pre-K Now Mini-MEME. Please leave a one sentence comment about what you believe over at the INSIDE PRE-K blog and join in the fun. It could be about Pre-K, teaching, learning, family, children, or life. It can be a long sentence or a short sentence. You could even make it really hard and write just six words like the members of the Teacher Leaders Network did for Teacher Magazine recently.

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At 4:40 PM, Blogger Melissa B. said...

Well said, comrade! BTW, I appreciate your post about Michelle Rhee. Here's hoping she succeeds! We've lived in the DC area, including some time in the city, for more than 20 years, and I swear, nothing else they've tried for those poor kids has ever worked!

At 12:11 PM, Blogger Melissa B. said...

BTW, don't forget it's Sunday, and you know what THAT means--S4 is underway today!


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