Well, I guess it isn’t really a confession because this is probably pretty obvious.
I love, and I mean love, inspirational teacher movies. You know the type. At-risk kids, gang violence, racial tension, profanity, anger, aggression, etc. A teacher who is at first overwhelmed by the challenge, then suddenly finds a way to hook those troubled kids, and manages to give them some hope. They find ways to channel that anger, to hope for more.
Oh, how I love those movies. Do you know why?
Most of them are true stories.
In my dream life, I am one of those teachers. In most girls’ dream lives, they are models, actresses, whatever. Something glamorous. In mine, I am a high school English teacher in an at-risk school, making differences and changing lives. I’m extremely happy with the life I’m living now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I’d like to imagine that I’m smart enough, capable enough, to be as inspirational as teachers like the ones in my favorite movies.
This morning I watched Freedom Writers while I was getting ready, and cried all the way through applying my makeup. I know it line for line. My favorite part is when Miep Gies, the woman who helped hide Anne Frank during the Holocaust, was flown in to speak to a group of at-risk teens.
When told that she is a hero, she says, “We are all ordinary people. But even an ordinary secretary, or a housewife, or a teenager can within their own small way turn on a small light in a dark room.”
I don’t know about you, but that gives me chills every single time I read it. It’s such an extraordinary statement, and so true. I may be one small person, but if we all play our parts, the lights we turn on will eventually light the entire world. What a beautiful thought.