I started school in Chicago, IL, where I was amongst 25-30 Pre-K children. Eager my first day to show my teacher I knew my ABC’s and 123’s. I was taught my first lesson about school, speak when spoken to or called upon. Nothing crushes a 4year old worse than a teacher not interested in what you’ve so proudly learned. I felt as though my learnings weren’t important, as if I was just there to take up space, I was another face amongst the crowd. I took this lesson and held on to it for the rest of my schooling until I learned otherwise. I never answered another question during group participation nor raised my hand to answer.
By the time I was in 5th grade all I learned from Chicago public schools was a myth. Now in a rural community and a predominately African American school. I could not blend in with the scenery as my teacher Mrs. Gates bombarded me one day with question after question, then math problem after math problem, until she came to the conclusion that I in fact knew my studies. I just refused to be embarrassed by another uninterested teacher. She would then from that day, until the end of the school year, ask me first any question from all of the eight subjects we were being taught. I then understood the reality this teacher does care. She cared enough to see that somewhere along my schooling I had become a mute by default.
By the time I had made it to eight grade I knew I was in for a ride. Mrs. S Hardy, a teacher whom would seem to beat knowledge into you. Mrs. Hardy never took I don’t know for an answer or I can’t. She empowered each and every one of her students with the power to learn. Explaining that your high school years define you as the person you’ll become. Yes, there will be clubs, sports teams, and organizations you will join, but, education is still our key to the world. She taught me that a friend only goes as far as graduation and not to be a follower along the path but to make my own path through life. To always be an independent thinker, know what I want out of life not what others want for me. Then all my elementary school encouragement was over upon entering St. Anne Community High in August of 1997.
When people start high school they’re usually so excited. They can’t wait to experience everything that comes with being in high school, I mean who wouldn’t? Everyone says that high school is the best four years of your life. I can’t say they were my best years but I can say they were my most educational years, of course I wouldn’t say that they weren’t fun because they were. When I say educational, I mean I’ve learned so much about myself and so much about life. I learned what the words family, love, betrayal, law and life meant. All these events changed me, and I’m glad they happened because I wouldn’t have learned all these lessons. My personality hasn’t changed; I’m still a carefree girl, just with a little more wisdom and a lot more strength. I first entered high school under the impression that this would be like my Pre-K experience, but found out that my teachers were somewhat like Mrs. Hardy, they would not leave me alone. I was amongst sophomores, juniors, and seniors, a mere freshman, what did I know. I was not going to be able to blend in with the back ground but was an unwilling participant in the daily class activities. Mr. Hubert, one of the most respected teachers in the school, sounded a lot like the guy from the clear eyes commercials. He explained to us that the upperclassmen were the from lack of studying or simply how he put it were chosen dummies who liked freshmen classes.