During my childhood my grandmother stressed the importance of education. She would say education can take you around the world, but only through hard work and dedication. She neglected to mention the amount of peer pressure, the cliques formed throughout school and sarcastic teachers whom we are at all times to respect, even if they are not respecting us.
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...
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