I stumbled into education. At 13 years old, during a heated discussion with my mom (you know the kind of discussion that mothers tend to have with their newly teenage daughters), I declared that I would NEVER do what she does (my mom was/is a teacher). Her reaction to my resistant stance was quite shocking to me. She calmly and simply said, “Good, I don’t want you to be a teacher. You should be a lawyer and make some money.” Later in life, I will discover that I should never say ‘never.’
Many good things in my professional (and personal) life seemed to happen by happenstance. For instance, I taught my first classroom as a substitute teacher at a school located in what use to be Cabrini-Green (a Chicago housing project that was located on the Northside of Chicago; Yes, the setting for the 1970s sitcom Good Times) at the age of 19, because I happened to be tutoring on that day and no substitute teacher wanted to take over a class at that school. My first class was a group of 7th graders. Needless to say, I made a lot of mistakes. Surprisingly, the students were somewhat well-behaved and patient with their teacher who looked liked she could easily be one of them.
As a result of my experiences working in urban areas, categorized as “high risk” during those days, I made the decision to change my future plans of becoming a lawyer to adding an extra semester of classes so that I could become a teacher. Remember my conversation with my mother less than a decade ago? Like I said earlier, never say ‘never.’
My experiences as an educator have developed visions of what I imagine education should be. Not what I saw/see, but what I desire it to be. In future post, under this title, My Vision of Education, I will share my visions of education. Feel free to leave a comment and share your vision(s) about education. I would like to hear your thoughts and engage in a conversation with you.
So, here I go with my first vision of education. My vision of education is that regardless of where a young person lives or the amount of money that their household might have, their learning experiences will positively transform their life and empower them to act for the greater good of their community.
What is your vision of education? You see, when many have a vision, that vision is no longer simply a dream, but has the potential to become a reality.