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Inspiration for Teachers
I wrote The Adventurous Explorer for a contest, but as I got deeper into the essay, I realized how much my English teacher, Mr. Hicks, truly has touched my life. I admire the passion he has for developing the mind of students. However, in today's society being a teacher at the elementary, middle or high school level is not seen as a profession to be admired. Some of this is due to the average salaries teacher's earn. According to payscale.com the average salary for a teacher is anywhere between $40, 249 and $44,138. This is not a lucrative amount, but unfortunately this is the value America is willing to pay for her future. Teachers have one of the greatest opportunities to impact the next great generation of men and women. "Every young person listening tonight who is contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make a difference in the life of a child -- become a teacher. Your country needs you."- President Obama. There is also the old belief that "those that can't do -- teach." The ability to sacrifice a "respected" job for teaching and give time and energy to educate kids is very difficult to do and should be looked at as courageous. So, I share my essay praying that teachers will be inspired to continue being passionate about teaching.
The Adventurous Explorer
I sincerely thank Mr. Hicks for touching my life through English class. His passionate commentary on stories is life changing. He makes what the class is reading not just words on a page but a frontier. This uncultivated, timeless frontier cannot be conquered due to its simple vastness. It is a frontier that dissolves its inhabitants into something complete and great. Mr. Hicks delves into books as an explorer would travel new land. His persistence everyday in digging deeper for meaning in words, searching for symbolism in stories and uncovering the message within a book is daring.
Mr. Hicks beckons me and my classmates to follow him onto this frontier, in order to train us to navigate our way. He embraces those vibrant students who want to dig deeper and go farther. Our fertile minds are encouraged to continue on this journey, because he makes himself equal with us. Many times after he states his thoughts he will say, "In my opinion" or " This is what I think." When he says those words, he keeps the frontier uncultivated, because he doesn't allow his opinion to become law which means there are no absolute interpretations of a story in his classroom. Mr. Hicks creates a warm and free thinking environment by taking on conflicts in the room head on. He stares down the cold, lifeless faces of those students who delay progressive discussion. For these drifting minds, Mr. Hicks, uses his charisma to captivate them back to the path of progress. One day a student was delaying progress in class, because he made an impertinent comment. Mr. Hicks simply responded, "Decorum, man, it all starts there."
When the bell rings, I open the door, step out of Mr. Hicks' classroom and into the rest of my regular calculated school day, feeling confident. I am confident, because Mr. Hicks has given me a compass to stay on the path of this vast frontier of reading and writing, even when I am not in his classroom. Mr. Hicks touches my life, because he teaches in a way that provokes me to not only see the framework of stories in mere pages of fictional writing, but to see the connection to real life. I took a campus tour of University Loyola Chicago on a normal winter day. The view of Lake Michigan was breathtaking. As I stood there awed by the lake's allurement, a gentle, christening snow began to fall over me and the campus. I automatically began to think of the symbolic implications of this scene. The christening snow represented me being baptized; baptized into the depths of the lake. Lake Michigan symbolized the immense opportunities that go with college life.
My ability to maneuver through the elements of story writing is intimately connected with Mr. Hicks' teaching. I am gratefully appreciative of the chance to explore this frontier with my adventurous teacher, Mr. Hicks. I will carry his passion along for my future journey.