In 1990, when I first graduated from college and had the dream of being a teacher, I had absolutely no idea what it really entailed. When I was asked why I wanted to be a teacher, I would respond with: I like kids, it would be fun, I want to make a difference, and all kids can learn. Fourteen years later, I landed my first job in Title 1. At that point, I had two kids including one who had been in Title 1. As the years progressed, and I lived with a child with learning needs, it became clear to me that what I thought I knew had become much more complicated. I have the same beliefs as I did when I was younger, but now they have developed deeper meaning. Making a difference now means getting totally involved with the lives of my students. I meet and help parents understand the development of literacy and how they can best help their child. I am an advocate for struggling learners within the school and in the community. Lastly, I am a champion for kids in my classroom, helping them to feel success and to grow confidence in themselves. I do like and still have fun with kids, but it is so much more. I wipe their tears, encourage and push them, laugh and listen to them, and sometimes counsel them.My teaching practices revolve around helping kids be successful in reading. Learning doesn’t come easy for all kids; thus, I see it as my responsibility to help them find their inner confidence. I great them at the door, welcome them into our learning lessons, and encourage them to read and have a good day. I encourage them to trust their inner voice. Many times they know how to decode a word, I see the word on their lips, but they are insecure with saying it. I encourage them to trust themselves. Obviously if my beliefs are not aligned with my practices, growth and success will not happen for the students I see every day.