Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!

Super Teacher's Job is Never Done!
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Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions. ~ Author Unknown

My goal is to reveal one teacher's humble journey of self-reflection, critical analysis, and endless questioning about my craft of teaching and learning alongside my middle school students.

"The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called 'truth'." ~ Dan Rather

Monday, February 7, 2011

Our School Walls are SCREAMING in Celebration of African American History Month!

In celebration and honor of African American History Month, one of my esteemed colleagues facilitated numerous beautiful, elaborate bulletin board and hallway displays commemorating the countless African Americans whose lives have changed all of ours for the better. The result is a hallway full of meaningful student testimonials, poems, essays, photos, and creative displays that literally take hours to fully appreciate.

One of our beloved security personnel, an African American male, recently posted a touching reaction to these displays to our school:

As a African American, I can honestly say that a simple walk down the main corridor and other areas throughout this building has been so informative and interesting here lately. I actually stop and read about African Americans that I have heard of in the pass in as well as  African American that I am not aware of their great contributions to society. To me my walk down the corridor this week is equivalent to [a teacher] stopping me in my tracks (figuratively speaking) and saying to me, "I would like to introduce you to"… or saying "did you know"… 
As I read some of the information on the wall, I sometimes have to admit to myself that “I didn’t know that.” It's like the pictures on the wall come alive as I absorb all the information that my forefathers and foremothers are telling me. They begin to talk about themselves as I say, “ I DIDN’T KNOW THAT.” They are not bragging; they are just stating facts that was either withheld from me for whatever reason, and I must admit that some of the reason for lack of knowledge is my own fault, and some is from lack of curriculum being taught in the 60s and 70s. Some of the reason for lack of information is due to information not being exposed to the public UNLESS you were digging for related or unrelated facts on a particular subject and stumble upon it by accident. I will admit that my lack of wanting to learn more  because I wanted to watch TV or go out outside to play in  my early years of life played a part also.
For whatever the reason, ignorance is revealing itself to me this week and telling me, “I robbed you for so many years because of your own lack of interest due to the fact that television was more important to you or because of the power-at -be refusal to mandate certain black history information. Either way I robbed you."
However, [the teacher who organized all of these displays] recognized the potential damage that ignorance can cause to our youth. Because of her dedication to her job and students, she BRILLIANTLY put together several WALLS OF HISTORY throughout the building. The brilliant part about this wasn’t just some pictures and some known and unknown facts posted on the wall that made the exhibit extraordinary; it was defiantly how she put this together. Her organizational skills are superb! She structured the whole exhibit  with a lot of thought and planning which SCREAMS OUT TO YOU  “Please read me as you go by”.
I just want to publicly thank her for having history SCREAM OUT at the children in the hallways in as well as it SCREAM OUT to the adults.
I would like to challenge each adult here at Ridgeview to look at the walls and read about the famous quotes and known and unknown facts. Read about these human beings that have contributed to this country and/or world just like other humans beings has in the pass and present who happens to be proud individuals of African descent.
If you don’t think, so ask any rapper. If the children see you reading, they will read.
Remember children mimic adults.

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