In my eyes, I am a role model every single day for my own children and for my classroom children as well. I don’t feel that it’s tremendous pressure on me because it’s what I live for and the path I’ve chosen for myself. I often laugh when I hear celebrities say, “it’s too much pressure to be considered a role model.” I actually enjoy that type of pressure (although it’s not really pressure for me). Modeling good work ethics and appropriate behavior comes easily to me. No, I am NOT perfect, but as a teacher I always keep in mind the children who are watching me and that is what guides me to be the very best!
Let me explain a little bit. When I walk around my school I know that I am being watched. From the very youngest in Kindergarten to the third graders, I know that they are observing my every move. I have had little girls as young as Kindergarten come in with their hair in a high curly bun having requested my very hair style from their moms that morning. Why? They want to emulate Mrs. Campos, of course. A few days later come the pens and pencils in that same top knot, just like mine. You see, they are watching! I am their role model.
As far back in my professional career as I can remember (since about the age of 21 or 22) I have been mindful of all I did. At that moment when I saw little girls duplicating my style I knew that I had to be the best role model ever. What if I am their only role model? I often thought to myself. I had a reputation to keep up and I couldn’t let them down! I was fine with that because in the type of profession I am in, I am in front of those children every single day. I have an everlasting impact on those kids. As old as I am, I still remember the impact my own teachers had on me from the way they dressed right down to their demeanor. I laugh at those who say, “don’t judge others by their appearance,” because I know that’s not always realistic. As a teacher I always keep in mind what I display because I NEVER want to contaminate the mind of a young child and plant a “negative” seed just because of something that I happen to like.
Having my father as role model prepared me for what I display on a regular basis. I want my own children and my classroom students to see my work ethic, my passion for helping others, my voice for speaking up when I have something on my mind (in a respectful tone, of course) and most of all, I want them to see someone who walks with dignity, pride and who is secure in herself. I want them to remember me as that role model who stood for all of those things and I hope they’ll strive to be the same someday. If they walk away from me with a positive frame of mind and wanting to do the same for others, I know that, as a role model, I have succeeded.
Care to share: Who is your biggest role model and why?