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Kelli Swigert

Kelli Swigert

Center Grove Middle School North

23 Years of Teaching; 23 Years at Center Grove 

To me, teaching is important because...

To me, teaching is important because teachers have the power to change lives. With that power comes great responsibility, sacrifice, and the opportunity to cultivate hope. I became a teacher to help change lives. Changing the world is way too big a task for any one person. However, changing a life is something completely possible. When one life is changed, a ripple can become a wave, and change can happen everywhere.

As a young person, I was blessed with a loving family, a comfortable home, and continuous support to pursue my dreams. The older I got, the more I realized there were many around me who were not so lucky. I decided to pursue being a teacher in order to share with others the love and hope I was able to receive from my family.

Responsibility - Some professions allow you to go to work, check off all the boxes, go home, and wake up the next day to do the same. I guess as a teacher you could do this as well. However, I feel that most teachers realize the enormous impact they have on students' lives. An involved teacher can lift you to the highest mountain allowing you to see the sunshine. A box-checking teacher can submerge you in the lowest valley where you struggle to find your way. What teachers do with their students can quite literally make or break a life. That is a lot of responsibility.

Sacrifice - Most professions require some amount of sacrifice. Teachers often sacrifice time, mental well-being, financial security, relationships, and sometimes even their own physical health. These sacrifices remind me how crazy we teachers are. It is also these sacrifices that allow teachers to yield the biggest reward.

Which brings me to the desired final outcome of our job- hope. Using our responsibility and overcoming our sacrifice allows teachers to provide our students with an environment of hope. Life is not easy. Life can be challenging, stressful, and sometimes scary. As the tyrannous President Snow stated, "Hope is the only thing stronger than fear." Teachers who instill hope will help guide our students to overcome any obstacle they may face. Teachers who teach with a hopeful heart will give our students the empowerment to learn and grow into successful members of society. Teachers who inspire hope will motivate students to learn even when it is not easy. Teachers who offer hope will let our students know that they, too, can do anything they want. These students may even change a life.