As it is, I wasn’t what you would call a hard-working student. I rarely did homework and I really and truly only got by on my ability to B.S., connect and over-think things. So naturally I was successful in English, Social Studies and Psychology. But enough about me.
I’ve been thinking about, and missing, my students. Yes, in some ways I miss all of them. But this isn’t about ALL of them. This is about the one’s I had in my classroom for hours after school talking about literature, history, social issues, art, and so forth. I miss those kids.
Those kids taught me many, many things. Like Sandra and Iseph who sat in my A.P. Literature Class and schooled ME on black history, books left out of the bible and current social and political issues. Like Jonathan, Laguerre, A-Lo, Vares, Mike, Daniel, Antoinette and Attalee who would rush to my classroom with their latest pieces of poetry and recite it for me then and there. Like Paige from Carol City and the entire A.P. crew from Edison who introduced ME to new literature, technological advances, and well, everything you could ever think of. And how could I forget the group of kids from Homestead who, after I was out sick for nearly a month, literally tackled me to the ground with hugs and “I Miss You’s”? I couldn’t.
I’m not what the government would condone. I let my kids call me on my cell phone. I meet them at poetry venues on Friday Nights. I use Easy-E to teach alliteration and compare Hamlet to Scene Kids. I even drove back to the school to give a kid a ride home from night school because otherwise she would not have been able to complete the course in time for graduation. I do this because, well damnit, I love those hooligans to death. Jasmine, Ross, Tara, Steph, Jordhy, Biz, Simeon, Keisha, Deon, Flor, those kids really taught me alot about what it is to respect a fellow human. What it is to harbor true love for an individual and hope that they make it further than I could ever go.
I also do it for some selfish reasons. You see, Lourianne and Rose? most likely to rule the world. Corey? most likely to own the world. My kids are going to achieve so much; and I don’t mean to blow my own horn, but I saw that in them. I knew it when I met the lot of them that they’d be successful.
And so, I developed the idea that I would be today’s Socrates.
Do you know about Socrates? Well, briefly, he was the greatest philosopher/teacher in Greek History. He taught Plato who, in turn, was the teacher of Aristotle.
Basically, Socrates is my hero because he taught two of the greatest thinkers that ever graced this planet. I want to out -do that. I want to teach the greatest revolution, the greatest renaissance, the greatest movement in history. I want to be the Muse for my students as well. I see greatness in them and will give my last dollar and my last breath to see them succeed. I mean, the truest mark of a good teacher is that the student will surpass them, right? And even if I never go back to the classroom, the bunch I had from Homestead, Edison and Carol City are enough.
I miss you Punkin, Mark, Dwight, Elizabeth, Franklin, Yacob, Willie, Steph & Stace, Paris, MariePerdonika, Mari, Jean, Jackie, Michele, Ivette, Shemari, Robert Jerry, Martin, Kendra, Papi, Jean, Tarquise, Nikia, O’Shane, Elvis, Jeiry,Patrice, Preycous, Ashley and Tay (grow UP!), Key’Ta, Sonia, Colin, LaPrial, Tiffany, Shiggs, Yashika, Giordani the Mobster, Kwame, CLIFF! Bradley, Andrew, Sivenson, Lillian, Linval, Malcolm, Mariah, Brit, Guito, Quee, Carl, Voltaire, Marshay, Yoland, Anthony, Obensson, Ariel, Ayanna, Kristen, WHITNEY!!!!! Joy, KB, Keoshia, Danhai, Deanna, Deondra, Kervins, Christon, Tousky, Lawerence, Adley, Keyshara, Joyvette, Jessica, Sauver, Chris, Taquila, Vicky, Tony, Tenesha, Freshman, James, Darius and Mr. Moven.
and anybody i left out…
and i’m waiting on you to make great things happen.