This I Believe

This I believeNational Public Radio had a series a while ago titled This I believe

As they said in their original invitation (


This invites you to make a very great contribution: nothing less than a statement of your personal beliefs of the values, which rule your thought and action. We know this is a tough job. What we want is so intimate that no one can write it for you. You must write it yourself, in the language most natural to you. We ask you to write in your own words.

We would like you to tell not only what you believe, but how you reached your beliefs, and if they have grown, what made them grow. This necessarily must be highly personal. That is what we anticipate and want.

Now we at MSUrbanSTEM want to create our own version of This I Believe. This will be the next book that we will create together; a followup to the Roots of STEM that we created last year. Of course, we will not follow the directions given by NPR blindly, but will seek to build on it, in our own way, taking from it what we like and adding pieces that make sense to us. So here goes.

Each of you will be writing a piece (specifics given below) to become a chapter in our second book, to be titled: This I Believe.

Here is what we will need from you.

A photograph. We have photographs of you but if you want a special one make sure to send it to us.


Bio: A brief bio, somewhat like we had in the first book but this time please ensure it is between 100-150 words. This should include your position and title, what you teach, grade level, number of years in education and any other information you want to share with us.

Your twitter handle:
Your website address:

Your favorite quote related to teaching/learning:

Recommend a book for a fellow STEM educator. This should be a book that inspired you. You could choose the book you used for your book review or some other book altogether. Briefly describe the book and why it is important to you in no more than 50-75 words.


Now, the piece that you need to write will include four sections. In each of these, feel free to use any of the writing or work you did as a part of the MSUrbanSTEM project (such as the Personal Manifesto, Dream IT, reflection papers and so on). Of course this prose may need to be rewritten to fit this new context. These four sections are: Looking back; Where am I now; Looking forward; Summing up. Taking each in turn. Looking back
Give us a sense of your professional past: what were some struggles or challenges you dealt with? What inspired you to become a teacher? What values do you bring to the job? In short give us a context for who you are. (100 to 150 words)

Where I am now
In this section describe the past year as a MSUrbanSTEM fellow and as an educator. Describe any transformational experience (or experiences) that occurred in your teaching or learning during the past year or tell us about an emergent leadership opportunity you took advantage of. What changed? Why? In what ways? See this as a quick reflection about the year that just went by. (100 to 150 words)

Looking forward
Now that you have been in this project for a year, what has changed? Where are you going?  What is one goal, or many (instrumental or missional) that you will strive towards next year or over the next 5 years. Feel free to use prose you have written from past assignments, if appropriate. Of course you may have to rewrite some of the language for this specific context.  (100 – 150 words)

Summing up
In summary, reflect on the past, the present, and the future; create a one or two sentence closing for the following prompt.

This I believe…

We will take these individual essays and put them together in a book to be presented to the visitors at the final banquet (scheduled for July 7).

This also means that our timeline is tight and we do need to adhere to it.

May 31: First draft of this assignment submitted to us
June 12: First draft of layout created and shared back with you for review and correction
June 21: Final revisions received.
June 28: Final book printed and prepared
July 7: Book revealed at the Banquet