Growing up in Paraguay, a small third world country in South America, I witnessed poverty first-hand. On my way to school every day, I noticed young children walking barefoot on the streets, shouting "Manzanas! Naranjas!" in an attempt to sell fruits to the wealthier population driving by. While I was fortunate to attend school, not all children were as lucky. Many of them worked alongside their parents to contribute to the families' income. To them, there was no such thing as a formal education.

From an early age, I began to question this injustice...this gap in socioeconomic status that no one really talked about. I started to sympathize with the children who were not as fortunate to attend schools.  Little did I know that having a heart for these children would shape my beliefs as a teacher many years later.

I believe that ALL children deserve quality education from educators who care for their students and their learning. I believe that ALL children have the potential to succeed and it is our job to tap into their strengths.  I believe that we can teach ALL children to be lifelong learners, who thirst for knowledge, and - despite race, gender, and socioeconomic status - can overcome anything! I believe that we are our children's best advocates.

With these beliefs close to my heart, and a whole lot of patience, the sky is the limit when it comes to building a bright future for my students.

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