It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child. I know this first hand as an educator or as I like to think a partner in the learning of youth. I witness everyday the power of exchanging information, love and experience. I am commonly in awe of the magic that can and does happen in our schools. Like when a student figures something out independent of anyone or anything but with their own curiosity, adults and teenagers having a heated discussion about politics, laughter about our common and uncommon train rides and this magic goes on and on!
The village I have ideally become a part of is essential in the growth of our young people. I learned everyday how to listen to the words spoken and unspoken. I see how important it is for me to come in the door acknowledge my impact on their lives. I have a rare moment everyday to be an agent of change in my village called a school.
As I continue on my journey as a teacher I realize the village also nurtures me. My first year can be summed up in many words: inspiration, confusion, struggle, triumph,pride, humbling, laughter, tears, creative, passionate,frustrating, empowering, liberating, hard, stressful! My first year of teaching is representative of my hard work and an important part this journey. However this road was not traveled alone. As I type this post on Martin Luther King day, I am reminded how many have taken this journey with me. I think of my family who support my long nights of writing, creating and studying throughout graduate school and lesson planning. My mom, an educator, who shares her stories and words of wisdom. My sister who is daring and brilliant. She makes sure I remember to laugh while affirming my warrior spirit. My dad who visits the school during events and manages to make me feel the most amazing person in the room for my efforts. My friends who relate and speak on our experiences as young revolutionary teachers in NYC.
Close to my apartment a tiny restaurant would nurture me with brownies,sweet teas and talks. Everyone there would keep a seat for me at the bar not because I drink liquor but because they knew I needed the space to exhale. The restaurant, called Peaches Hothouse, has also grown into a community center. Today after attending the services for my dear student, Raphael, they nurtured me again. Chivon told me to stay when I proposed going back home to eat. I shouldn’t be alone in this state. She was right. So we ate together. Together in our village not determined by space or land. I thank them for taking care of this teacher.
It truly takes a village.