it’s common knowledge that i’m a graduate student at the university of georgia, studying to get my masters in education so that i can be a high school history teacher. one of the most interesting things that i’ve discovered, on this next level, is that most of my education is about what perspective we will employ in the classrooms, moreso than us actually being taught how to teach. don’t get me wrong, i have a curriculum and methods class that teaches us how to create lesson plans and how to lecture and all that type of thing. but at the same time, even that class emphasizes the necessity and the importance of our perspective and how that will shape the details of our class, down to our lesson plans.
anyhow, in class on monday, my professor asks us to name characteristics of good lecturer; of an enthusiastic teacher. after doing that, i started thinking about the teachers that i have had over the years who were phenomenal…and so this blog, or at least the part written below, is dedicated to them.
praise to the people on my journey who encouraged me; to the people who guided me with love; and who nurtured me with their caring spirit.
praise to people like dr. trudier harris-lopez, who taught me that settling for mediocrity was never acceptable, and who pushed me outside of my comfort zone into a world of learning that i could have never imagined for myself.
praise to people such as dr. genna rae mcneil and ms. brenda mccormick, who taught me that we are never too old to accomplish our dreams and who showed me that there’s no substitute for faith in God and a tenacity to work at what He sets our hearts to do.
praise to people like dr. perry hall and dr. reginald hildebrand, who through their quiet nature encouraged me to fight the barriers of apathy and boredom to understand what it means to follow the course of academia.
praise to people like mr. charles watters and mr. andrew smithson, who through their love for knowledge and their dynamic teaching styles first made me fall in love with history.
praise to people like terri houston and dr. archie ervin, who nurtured me as if i were their own child; bearing wisdom and love that lifted me when nothing else could help.
praise to people like provost robert shelton, who by his understanding, showed me that there is a place for all people at the table of brotherhood; and by his encouragement, challenged me to create initiatives and ideas that will exist at an institution far longer than my tenure there.
praise to women like my mother and my grandmother, who fought and sacrificed so that i could live this life that i had never imagined for myself, but that they dreamed for me out of nights of despair and hopelessness.
praise to people like gail hudson, shirley robinson, and myra white, who have dedicated their life to encouraging young people who were like me–precocious and excited…and who just needed an opportunity to exhibit their talents and intelligence to the world.
praise to people like dr. joseph jordan, who emphasized the importance of learning outside of our immediate area; and pushed me to learn about my brothers and sisters on a national and global level.
praise to people like dr. william darity and dr. robert adams, who forced me to become a student of knowledge of all forms and who enhanced my belief that all things are inherently interconnected and equally important- and who taught me that it must be us who find the connections through our own desires of knowledge and subject matter.
praise to people like chris myers, mr. kuntzelman, and coach price, who through their leadership and example showed me that demanding respect and giving respect in a caring way are essentials for making a difference in the life of a child.
praise to many others, those whose name that i might forget here, but who have inevitably made an impact on my life.
and most importantly, praise to GOD, who blessed me with the opportunity to encounter so many wonderful people that would shape my life and help me as i strive to live out the purpose that He has placed in my heart.
to all of these people- thank you for everything that you have done that has made me into the person i am today. i hope that with God’s help and with my own desire, i can make a difference in the life of a young student the way you have made a difference in my life.
peace and blessings…