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A creed for teachers

I still believe in the power of teaching.
I still believe that all children deserve a chance to receive a quality education.
I do not believe that test scores are an accurate measure of a child’s true ability or value.
Nor do I believe that test scores are an accurate measure of a teacher’s true effectiveness in the classroom.
I believe that most teachers care enough for their students to give their lives for them, if necessary.
I know that all teachers have experienced the joys of success as well as the pains of failure.
I feel the pangs of the student who has not had enough to eat when he or she comes to school.
I see the fear of the student who knows his family is falling apart, while no one else seems to care.
I hear the cry of the student who is perplexed about his place in the world because he does not seem to fit in.
I rejoice with the student who is the first in his family to graduate from high school.
I also rejoice with the student who goes on to succeed in college and beyond.
I will not judge a student based on the size of his house or the spelling of his name.
I will listen to the student who has no one else with whom to talk.
I will stop grading papers long enough to smile at a student who thinks she is invisible.
I will laugh with the students when I embarrass myself in front of the entire class.
I will model integrity for my kids in a world that is quickly losing its way.
I will pray that I never give up on my call to teach, even if the world gives up on my profession.
I will show compassion to the student who does not know how to receive love.
I will reach out to the student who pushes everyone around him away.
I will know when I cannot help a student any longer, but trust that someone else can.
I will understand that I might be the last one to offer a student the hope she needs to keep going.
I will forgive myself for not being a perfect teacher.
I will forgive those who turn their backs on education, but I will not give in to their erroneous thinking.
I will remember that I am not only serving children each day, but I am ultimately serving the One who created them in His own image.
I believe in the power of teaching because someone else taught me.
Larry Efird teaches at A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis.

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