Name: Amy Melville
School: Beaufort Academy
Subject: English III, English III-Honors, AP Psychology and school counselor
Years working in the schools: 15 years
If you had a magic wand, what would you do with it?
This reminds me of the fairy tales my parents told me as a child. A fairy godmother waves her wand through the air, and poof -- wishes are granted. In the land of fairy tales, a wave of my magic wand would grant some colossal education wishes. Most importantly, students would become enlightened with a burning passion and the quest for knowledge. This is such a gift that many take for granted; they take the classes but do not experience the classes. Typically, younger students love coming to school and are excited to learn new things, but that spark somehow extinguishes during high school; school becomes a chore. A wave would tap in and release the potential that so many students possess. I tell my students almost on a daily basis, "Don't formulate an opinion about something until after you have experienced it. If you don't like it, that's fine, but at least give it a chance, and then you have validation."
Another wave of the wand would ensure the golden rule would be followed in what is said and done. Words hurt, can't be taken back, and sometimes leave lasting dents. Sometimes one's actions with the lack of words can be even more damaging. I don't want any student, no matter what age, to feel inferior for any reason. Even though we may not like everyone with whom we come in contact, everyone is afforded the right of respect.
Yet another wave of the wand would give educators the pay they deserve. Our job is to nurture and teach the future. Why is that one of the most important jobs in the world be expected to work based solely on passion or calling? Teachers should be the most respected and rewarded occupations in society, but sadly we live in a world where professional sports players, actors or musicians receive so much prestige and monetary reward all while educator salaries are being cut or frozen. The magic wand would rectify this situation.
Of course, a magic wand is just that -- magical. However, the reality is that education itself is the vehicle through which dreams and wishes have become reality. Education gives everyone a chance in life -- an even chance on the playing field. It's up to the player to decide what to do. As an educator, it is my job to wave the realistic wand and hope to touch the lives of the many young people with whom I come in contact. I was told by one of my favorite high school teachers, "If you're in it for the money, it's the wrong reason. It is reward to know that teaching is the profession that creates all others." I know I'm in the right profession; and yes, if you're wondering, I teach because it is my passion. I carry my wand with me to class every day.
Follow reporter Amy Coyne Bredeson at twitter.com/IPBG_Amy.