Sometimes, when I’m working with my students in the classroom, I’m struck, once again, by the immense power of our beliefs. It’s as if I’m surrounded by a force stronger than winds and waves, a force that makes our lives what they are, moment by moment. I occasionally am lucky enough to create inspired lessons, but all the lessons in the universe won’t work as forcefully as the beliefs about life that are moving and mixing inside us. I teach stories and essay writing and grammar rules, but I wish I could teach my students about the vast influence of their beliefs. I wish I could convince them that what they believe about themselves brings more muscle to their English studies than their ability to think up good sentences or say smart things about a story. Their beliefs can be lights that light up any darkness, but they can also be blinds that always bring about a bad kind of darkness and dismay. If my students believe they will discover success at school today, there will be small wonders awaiting them, but the opposite is also true. It’s the same for me. A belief in my inability to teach triumphantly will make failure inevitable, but a belief in the common sense and creativity we bring to class will work miracles made just for my students and me.