Maestra/o! Teacher !

I have developed a new found appreciation for bilingual educators. This week I sat in a 4th grade bilingual class, where the language that was spoken was Spanish. On this particular day, the class was having their end of the year achievement ceremony. Parents came and brought breakfast and supported the class. 

I have grown particularly fond of this teacher the past few months I have been working at this school for several reasons. One of those reasons is because this was her first year teaching. She had, as expressed in several conversations we had and in her speech, that she worked in the Department of Education (DOE) for 10 years before deciding that she wanted to take that step in the classroom in a different role. She told her class that they were all unique to her. 

There was not a dry eye in the room, including myself. She made her speech in English and then Spanish and honestly it was one of the most heartfelt and beautiful experiences I have had in the classroom so far. I saw a child that I met in the beginning of the school year that spoke no English, and now she was speaking full sentences and laughing in English and Spanish. I saw how the theories and countless books you in undergrad and grad, came to life, (minus a theory or two).

I saw the beautiful mixture of cultures that was embraced by that teacher, in the decor of the classroom, the community of her students and parents. I never took too much thought about bilingual education not for any particular reason, I just never sat down and thought about it. However, the amount of work for any teacher is a lot and that’s an understatement. But this teacher expresses and showed the benefits of being an educator of more than one culture. 

My Ray of Light

Ever Just stop. Sit in the park and do nothing. 

Ever experience the quietness of the sun, yet loud in the rays when it hits your face? A constant reminder that while you are sitting alone, in the park, listening to every sound around you, hear the trees swaying, that you are clearing your mind, in a positive light. 

Positive light? A still realize that while everything is moving around you, and you have no control of the sounds around you, the trees swaying and movements around you that it will be okay. The sounds are sooting, not there to destroy you. 

Ever take this approach to your life? When so much Chaos and confusion are apparent but somehow find strength everyday when you open your eyes, because the first thing we paying attention to and really even realize, is the hope that the Sun is there. We automatically deem the day as beautiful because no weather to negatively effect our mood was present.

The true task, is seeing the sun even when it’s gone. I was one that was fortunate to figure out this solution. It’s to pray, get up, he’s on his. 

This is what I do, when  I just stop. Sit in the park and ever experience the quietness of the sun, yet loud in the rays when it hits your face? A constant reminder that while you are sitting alone, in the park, listening to every sound around you, hear the trees swaying, that you are clearing your mind, in a positive light. 


Step up to the plate

I remember a while go being on the phone with a close friend. And at one point in the conversation, she asked me if I was okay. I told her, I am happy, but I’m not good. She completely understood what I meant. I had to teach a math lesson and it was based on a topic I was not at all excited about. I had always been fearful of math growing up. Though hard work through the past years, I had seemed to get a grip, that math is the science of patterns. We all like patterns, right? But now, I had been faced with a task, that I would be in a position of not learning math, for myself, as if I was an adolescent, but I had to now teach it to my students, and my favorite topic in math at that: ALGEBRA. I had a lot of anxiety, the fear of numbers, had me experience insomnia, and all kinds of self-doubt. It honestly had me feeling dysfunctional, but then I remembered a statement the next day that rocked my world. Jackie Robinson, “To change the game, you have to step of the plate.” 

What did that meant to me was, you are not that student, and your students do not know who you are at that age, you have the power, the privilege and opportunity to step up to the plate and hit fear right out the park. But how? I had the knowledge, but what would be the skill? The skill I discovered was to teach. And teach it well. Not only was I confronted something I let take way too much power over me at one time in my life, but I also advocated for my students who had the same problem. 

That is my story as it related to math upon a time ago, but what game is changing by you stepping up to the plate? 

 

 

Move for Change

Recently I asked a question on Facebook that I would like you to stop and consider for a moment: What is your motive? To make a name or move for the change? Before I give you my response, I want to offer some points to consider; did the people of movements always know that they were going to make a mark on history? Nat Turner, Harriett Tubman or George Washington? Probably not, but they saw a need for something different in their community. I look at fraternities and Sororities; the events, colors, class, and calls, the Greek letters that represent a strong voice in the culture. I think about the social, community work they do. What the Greek letters represent when someone from a frat or sorority, stands for is, what makes them powerful in service.

Today is Martin King Jr. Day. Yes, he wore the letters, yes, he made the name. But didn’t the name come from the idea he conveyed on numerous occasions? Peace, equality, freedom, like Nat Turner, and Harriet Tubman, the need for social and political change. He stood for something in an impactful way and that made his name spread before millions of people. Do you think the people who walked in the protests, boycotted, lost their lives actually knew who he was on a personal level? Probably not.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulation. Some of you have some fresh from narrow jails. Some of you have come from are-as where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering.”

Martin Luther’s’ idea, his dream that were shown way before the words were written in 1963, was recognized because it was a call to civil change. It was “Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of melding physical force with soul force”

Let’s dig a little deeper. When people heard about “the man they called Jesus'“, his name became famous and they sought him out. The story is common with other religions and faiths as well. The idea stimulated my thoughts, my soul bore witness to the message and it caused me to seek out what was greater than me. When you consider yourself to be great, that is awesome but great for what purpose? You or the social and political change of what is going on at the moment? Again, Martin Luther King says their destiny (whites) and the culture, is tied up with our destiny, their freedom is in binding with our freedom. So, for myself the work of me being a special educator is more rewarding than people knowing my name first, for the freedom of the need is what is special about people who work with children. The cause that will make me known is the success of a child’s well-being and education. That is a worthy cause.

So, consider again this question “what’s your motive? To make a name or move for a change?

Click to read Martin Luther King Jr. Speech I have a Dream

Building a Family Legacy P1.

This post was inspired by a discussion board I used for class. Sections were edited for the means of this blog. -TDP

When I think of the value of a Human being, the people to show me how much I am loved as valued as created in the image of God has always been my parents. For this post, I would like to focus in on my mom, it has been 7 years since my mom has been been with the Lord, so I have spent a particular amount of time to reflect on the conversations, and actions she has shown me on this topic.  do the same for my father, but in bereavement and grief you spend it seems to me a extra amount of time thinking about the love one you have lost, and all the emotions you encounter as well, and prayer, that strengthens and deepens your relationship with the Father.

    Growing up I was very shy, to this day I am shy, though it shows in other ways. On the left side of my face around my eye, I have a beauty mark, and on the right side of my face above my right lip I have a mole that has some size. I grew up being bullied for years, with very low self-esteem. My entire family reminded me daily how beautiful and special I was to them and God. Being a child yeah that made me feel good, but I just wanted to fit in. One night I came to my mom and told her that I knew I was nice to people, why couldn't they see me for me? Why did the kids judge me by the way I look? I told her I was going to be mean right back and not care because people did not care about how they made me feel. My mom just flipped through the pages of her Bible from what she was reading and read me a scripture that changed my life forever. Mathew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (KJV).

My parents have always been supportive and honest with my sisters and me, and always told me that what God thinks of me is most important, but treat people the way I want to be treated. Reading that scripture did something to me. It showed me at that age (10) that I was a real child of God. (I was a peer mediator in school; that could have possibly crossed my mind too). I already loved reading the Bible but when I read that, I knew I could not let God down as his child. 

Yes, I struggled to believe my sense of worth, identity. After all, I was still in elementary school. But I knew that as long as I remained kind, and treated people the way I wanted to be treated, God was happy with me. Sometimes I struggle today. And I believe that every now and then everyone goes through those struggles. But there are ways to in our human growth and lifespan we can intentionally remind ourselves of our worth and created in God’s image. We identify those ways in the Old and New Testament, where God created the order of the world for us to make man in our own image; God allowed Adam to name all of the animals, and Pauls teachings on Gods’ Grace and Love for humanity.  Estep & Kim 2010, Gods’ image within humanity is what we are and, in turn, is reflected in the components of our existence.

There are several ways we can pass this on to our children. For example, my parents prayed for my sisters and me nonstop, and with prayer, we would study and sing songs together. We are still all involved in ministry, and when the time comes for us to have our families, we will teach our children to pray, read Gods’ word, to encourage them to know the Lord for themselves. Dr. Dobson, speaks in his book Your Legacy, how the patriarch of his family, who was not born to a devout Christian family, prayed every day for his entire family, and towards the end of his life, the Lord made him a promise, and that promise has been kept for several generations, and his family is blessed off a one mans prayers to God. My mom showed me a scripture that carried me through a very tough season in my life, but when it is my time I will pass it to my children, but until then, I pray like Dr. Dobsons’ patriarch, for my family here and that is not born yet.

You may not believe that Jesus is your Lord and Savior, but you are made in the image of your parents, they instilled values and moral to you. No matter what is going on in the world, you are the Legacy of truth and love. 

One Day

Someone will only smile at me

When I enter into a room. 

 

To pullout my seat. 

Treat me like a queen.

 

One day I will encounter that being that is for me 

Embracing what they have, and befriended in only me.

When I look in the mirror

One day, I will love me. 

The thing all people have in common at one point and in time in their life, is wanting to validated by people. Being validated by people does not always mean that you are patted on the back, but that you feel special and receive a type of attention. Honestly that is all fine and dandy. But it is temporary. You have to learn to love yourself. Look in the mirror and say, I am beautiful. I am special to me, my dog, cat, fish, family and friends. Wear the clothes only you can rock! Smile the widest smile, that makes you uniquely you! Let that one day, be today !

WRITE

When I write, I am who I am.

When I read, I am feeding my mind, and soul all the things I will be. I will achieve.

When I eat, I am hungry (lol). 

Writing is the purest form of getting to know who you are.

Writing is an intimate outter body experience, that is crafted to teach patience, freedom, form and self-reflection to name a few.

It is never time consuming to write because you feel such a release and freedom to get out the most random, silly, emotional, comical writing between you and the white sheets, with your favorite pen, pencil, and the blood of your fingers that apply pressure to produce what is inside of you.

You are amazing to create something so intimate, personal and universal for someone to read. When I say someone, I first mean you. 

When I write I am under a open heaven of creative possibilities. Journaling, post-it notes, to-do lists, scheduling, diary, therapy. Or just because you saw perfectly sharpened DIXON TICONDEROGA #2 Pencil randomly on the table, with a perfect eraser, and nearby you saw a cute little notebook you just bought because you liked it but had no idea what you were going to use it for. (ME) 

The art writing is beautiful. Writing are words spoken forever on paper. 

 

 

For the love of Me

Is missing me enough? 

For months I suffered and loved and you were mad and didn’t forgive . 

I forgave EVERYTHING and never left your side and never said I hated you or made a mistake. I just tried to love. I tried to breathe, when I felt suffocated . But the death of feeling to leave you was worse. 

But you just said I didn’t love you, you said I wasn’t worth it, a liability. I wasn’t a queen. Everything Opposite of what momma told me. 

And I came to understand As time went past, you never understood me. You in fact did not love me. You never saw me. I wasn’t a soul mate, I was .. what you needed at that moment. Not as your forever. 

Simply said. I’m tired.  Of screaming for you to see me. Of not loving me. Of not breathing freedom. And living the fullness live has to offer. 

A soul we may share A tie that can be broken, in time.

But my mind can’t take the madness we have shared. 

I let you go, accepting the pain of recovery.

I’m ready, to step into my future, and love that is filling.. just for the love of me.