Monday, March 5, 2012

Making a D*mn difference

We buried my great uncle this weekend. It was a very emotional but beautiful service. And as I sat in the fourth pew with my boys I realized this was their first fully aware "black Church experience".

The singing, preaching, shouting, and crying. The way so many felt Whitney Houston's home-going showed the world how we bury own, my boys are now all old enough to remember uncle Joe's home-going as well.

They got to hear their great grandpa sing a southern hymn with his brothers and sisters. They heard their Evangelist aunt/cousin exhort the family and praise the strong men that have guided our family. Heck, they even saw The Bop.

Even through my tears I was content in knowing my sons were witnessing family history and learning some of it as well.

During the repast I spoke with my aunt, a retired math teacher, and she asked whether I was sure I wanted to be a Social Studies teacher. What with all the uncertainty and thanklessness of the field. And I was able to tell her an empathic "No!"

No, after all these years of school, I do not see myself as a classroom teacher in the traditional sense. I want to be an educational collaborator. The tutor. The reading specialist. The 1-on-1 coach. Part of the teacher team, but not the sole dispenser of information. That no longer interests me.

I'm so thankful to have been a teacher assistant, reading coach, and tutor because it's helped me to hone in on what I truly want to do. Where I can make the most difference. And I see my strength in shoring up my students' weaknesses. In bolstering their confidence in their ability to learn.

I visited GOOD this morning and saw this video that encapsulates what teacher's do and verbalizes the ethos of what I want to accomplish as an educator.

Its the main thing I want for my children. I want them to know who they are and what they are capable of.
Because knowing who you are makes all the difference.
My elders, both by blood and by love, have taught me who I am and shown me what I'm capable of and now that's my mission as an educator, mother, and writer; to illuminate the possibilities in the lives around me.