The Best of What I Can Be

Watching the 2012 Summer Olympics in London has been inspiring.  There is absolutely nothing like seeing the world's best athletes compete against each other.  It's been amazing watching people achieve goals (especially world records) that were once considered impossible or highly improbable.  Discovering the stories of some of the athletes is really motivating.  The dedication, preparation, and discipline it takes to be an olympic athlete is really awe inspiring.
It's inspired me to be the best at something.  The first thing I would have to ask myself is, "What am I the best at?", "What am I good at?", and "If this was an olympic sport, would I win the gold medal?"  I'm not that fast of a swimmer, and I'm pretty sure that Michael Phelps can swim faster than me.  Gymnastics, rowing, and judo aren't sports that I consider myself to be particularly good at.   Gabrielle Douglass, Taylor Ritzel, and Kayla Harrison already have a head start on me.

Then I had to ask myself, "Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte can swim at world record speeds, but can they teach high school English?"  I don't know them personally, but I highly doubt they can.  Can they motivate students the way I do?  How well would they teach students to write literary response essays while simultaneously discussing deeper meanings of literature?  Can they do what I do as well as I do?  Maybe, but I think it's unlikely.  Being a teacher takes a special kind of dedication, preparation, and discipline than olympic athletes.  My performance in class may not win gold medals (for now at least), but I know that (just like performances of olympic athletes) it inspires people in profound ways.

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