Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Challenge to My Wonderful 5th Graders as You Graduate

Above the door in my classroom I have a sign that reads: “Through these doors walk the future leaders of Guatemala…” and this is something that I truly believe. I have been honored to teach students who are going to be great parents, politicians, doctors, teachers and businessmen and women. I have seen leadership qualities in the way that you work together and help others in the classroom and know that you have what it takes to be great leaders in the world.

That journey continues with your 5th grade graduation. I have been in Guatemala for 10 months and 3 weeks. That is enough time to see both sides of Guatemala, and I have. I have experienced the beauty, amazing friendships and social environment, but I have also dealt with robbery and fear. You must realize that you are the ones responsible for Guatemala’s future. Perhaps you wonder how, as a 5th grade, soon to be 6th grade student you can make a difference. You must prepare now for future actions. Now, when you see something that is not right there are two things you should do:

1)Think of a way that it could be done better. Don’t fall into the trap of just complaining about something without coming up with a solution.

2) Think of how you are developing in your own life. Are you a fair and just person? Are you developing character traits that Guatemala needs in its leaders? If you cheat on your test now, how do we know that as an official you won’t cheat there?

This is my challenge to you:

1) Search for truth- not popularity or even comfort.

2) Respect all people- regardless of race, intelligence, physical abilities or religion.

3) Embrace learning. Don’t be scared of not knowing- that is where the journey starts, be scared of not caring.

I will miss you, but I look forward to rejoicing with you in all of your successes!