“The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston, The Voice, represents my career in education. As a kid, my favorite musical artists were tied to the music my parents listened to: Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Tina Turner, Willie Nelson, Jim Croce, Elton John, Dolly Parton, Julio Iglesias, Carly Simon, Bob Seger, Whitney Houston, and anything from Andrew Lloyd Weber, among others. My mom, a teacher, used to play “The Greatest Love of All” all the time, mostly while cleaning house and belting along. She used to say, “See, Roxanna, always love yourself, depend on yourself, and never walk in anyone’s shadows.” It goes without saying that my mom is my hero. As a child, I wanted to be just like her (as an adult, I can only hope to be just like her).
In our house, like many, school and education were paramount. In fact, I had a kid table set up in the kitchen with four chairs where I used to sit my dolls, Hermosa (my beloved first Cabbage Patch Kid purchased at Smitty’s on Baseline and McClintock) and Lupé (a life size child mannequin my great grandmother from Mexico gifted me), in the front row while I would “teach” them and play school. I always imagined being a teacher like my mom and following in her footsteps, especially when Whitney croons:
I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.
For my sixth grade most famous person project, I even wrote Whitney a letter to let her know of these important matters and my plans to teach the children well. My memory does not serve me, but I’m fairly certain she sent me a signed glossy 8X10?
Today, I believe this song is subconsciously woven into the forefront of why I pursued a career in education. That, and I failed out of pre-med my freshman year… but, that story is definitely for another time.