Via IG 8.4.18: Master Teacher Flow

Nothing changes your perspective like death, especially the death of a loved one, for me this loved one was one of my students. Instead of being desensitized, I forced myself to feel my way through. I even heard his spirit say, “You can’t numb this...” It was an ugly period of private grieving, as I refused to hoe my pain on social media. I’m so tired of us mourning more than we celebrate our Black boys. Black boys that are fathers. Black boys that never met their fathers. Black boys who don’t rap or play ball. Black boys who got kicked out of class in 3rd grade instead of held and nurtured and understood. I can’t accept this loss. I can and will combat it. I can honestly say, I am ready to get back into the classroom now... for a minute there, I was about to book a one-way flight to any place that’s not here and never look back. But there was no way I could do that. I ain’t no runner, I am a teacher.

A healer. 

A lover. 

And a disciplined warrior.

So, while Baltimore leads the way in being the city with the highest homicide rate in the country, I’ll continue to combat that by staying here and working with my colleagues, students’ parents, and stakeholders to build the literacy rate of our children because knowledge is freedom. We are a city of hidden gems and opportunities. We are a city of arts and culture. We are the city that reads.

I’ve always loved this picture of master teacher, Erykah Badu — in it I can hear the words “watch me WORK!” But as I go into my 11th year of service to the youth, I don’t want y’all to just watch me work, I want y’all to work WITH me! If you teach in any capacity, whether traditional or unconventional, share the successes of your students, publish their assignments, and lift them beyond their potential. Let them know they are beautiful and brilliant, daily. Tell them you love them, always. And remember to love yourself the whole way through.