Lexington Logo Black with White Outline

            “I believe in all that has never yet been spoken. I want to free what waits within in me…” are words from poet Rainer Rilke that have helped shape a writing lesson for English 4 students. As seniors, students were asked to examine experiences that have helped shape their beliefs as they prepare to walk into the adult world to live their own lives. Students were challenged to think about what they believe, such as core principles or beliefs they live by, and articulate it through their writing in an “I Believe” essay.

            In years past, National Public Radio had a series in which people were invited to share stories and experiences that shaped personal beliefs. In the essays, students were to tell a story, name their belief in a concise manner, be positive, and be personal. Titles or statements of beliefs shared by English 4 students included: “I Believe Art is Important”; “I believe that working hard in life and in things that you do is the key to success.”; “I Believe in Being Creative”; “You must live with passion. And that I believe.” Discussing and sharing personal beliefs allowed the class to reflect on what guides our decisions, choices, and our lives.