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WRITE TEAM: A few final thoughts

Lee Ann Raikes
Lee Ann Raikes

It’s hard to believe my stint on the Write Team has come to an end.

I want to thank The Times for allowing me to be a part of this venture, as well as the readers who inspired and encouraged me to express my ideas honestly in order to get a conversation started.

There were three reasons I wanted to be back on this team: to hopefully connect with others, to show my students it isn’t so scary to share thoughts and ideas and to motivate others to make this world a kinder place. In the end, I have many stories to tell in all aspects of my life, and who better to tell them than me? Along with these stories, I have plenty of hope that mankind can find a way for a peaceful coexistence. I will leave you with some final thoughts.

We need to open our minds and think for ourselves in the search for truth. We need to be thinkers, researchers, and question what is happening in our world. Before we rush to judgment, question the source of information along with the reasoning behind it. If we do, maybe there will be less hate and more understanding of the differences between us. Remember that we are unique individuals. We all make this world better together. One of my favorite quotes of all time is from Anne Frank: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” If we as human beings could be more empathetic, kind, be willing to listen to other people’s opinions, and agree to disagree on issues, this world would be a happier place.

The public, as well as policy makers, need to support and respect educators. We are not the enemy and we don’t put ideas in our students’ heads. On the contrary, the majority of us encourage our students to question their world, find solutions to real world problems, and encourage them to follow their passions, all while finding ways to pay it forward. Education is evolving and our role is more of a facilitator allowing the students to take responsibility for their learning. Teaching is more than a profession. Our students become part of our family and there are many sleepless nights worrying about them. Maybe legislators and naysayers should spend a day in our classrooms before passing judgment and making decisions that are clearly made by people on the outside looking in. I am proud to be an educator! I am proud of my colleagues.! Most importantly, I am inspired and blessed each day to be working with my students!

To my family, I love you more than you’ll ever know! God has blessed me with three beautiful, successful children and a husband who knows how important it is to be kind humans. I apologize for all my crazy antics throughout your lives, but I do not see any of that changing in the near future. I gather my strength and courage from you. You all know how important it is to go out each day with a positive attitude and a smile on your face in order to brighten someone’s day. Thank you all for being bright lights.

If you love to write, want to share your story with others, and want to connect, I hope you consider joining the Write Team. It is a valuable, learning experience and brings such happiness when you hear you have inspired others. You might also tick some people off as well and that is OK, too! At least you started a conversation.

LEE ANN RAIKESáis a kid trapped in an adult body, living life out loud, while never giving up hope for peace in the world. She can be reached by emailing stephanies@mywebtimes.com.

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