1.) Tell us about your role as an educator. What does your typical day look like?
In my new role as an Administrative Assistant at Hughes Academy, I plan to spend my days helping all those I come in contact with as much as I can. This starts in the morning by greeting students, faculty, parents, visitors, whomever comes in the building. A positive face and attitude first thing always helps to start the day right. I plan to answer questions that students and teachers may have to ensure the education process is working at its greatest potential. I will be active and visible throughout the day to be sure everyone is on task and things are going smoothly. It is my job to ensure students are getting the best educational experience possible. For this to happen, I will plan with teachers and help with their creativity. This year especially, creativity is definitely needed. Molding minds and building great character is my calling and I look forward to each opportunity to do this.
2.) What’s your education philosophy summed up in one sentence?
All students can learn as long as they are in effective environments with effective educators who love them.
3.) Why did you become an educator?
I became an educator because I believe I have a natural ability to reach others and I believe that everyone deserves a chance in life. It is essential that those who stand in front of others to educate, are qualified. I plan to be sure that I am qualified in every area I step in and to be sure that I am helping others reach their goals as well. The world takes advantage of uneducated people and I believe that with my presence, motivation, and ability to show genuine love, I can help boost individuals over the threshold to be great. I realize that I am not on this earth for me, but to help others along my journey to get all I can get in this world.
4.) As an SCASCD Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education in your community and beyond?
To whom much is given, much is required. Our job never stops. I will educate those who are not educated and reeducate those who are misinformed. I chose to be a forever learner and challenge those around me to do the same. I plan to go into my communities through many avenues to tutor, mentor, and educate where I can. Our people need to know the truth and I will be the light in that area. I surround myself with educators who are very knowledgeable, eager to learn and educate, and who are willing to help me as I help them as well.
5.) What types of professional development (books, DVDs, webinars, courses) have made a difference in your career?
Capturing kids hearts will forever be one of my favorite professional developments. It reminds us that we are all human and that we all need love. It shows educators and adults how to get beyond their own experiences to reach others. I have read many books such as “Just Listen” by Mark Goulston, “The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader” by John C. Maxwell, and “Instinct” by T.D. Jakes to name a few. These books encourage self reflection so that I am able to reach my audience in an effective way no matter what. Life is not about me, but what I can do for others along the way. I am an active member of the Call Me Mister program, a program geared toward preparing male educators for the classroom. This program offers amazing educational experiences, practices, sessions, and leadership development courses, that have proven themselves effective over and over again. The Call Me Mister program has changed my life in many ways for the better.
6.) Was there a pivotal moment when you realized your career choice in education was the correct one? Describe that time.
In the early years of my educational experience, I noticed that I was able to build relationships and be effective with those that I came in contact with. I remember specifically during student teaching, the day I was hired at another school. I was so excited. I announced to the class I had been with that I was going to be working at another school. When my announcement was done, one of the students who did not see eye to eye with me began to cry hysterically. I was shocked and blown away. He and I bumped heads daily and I did not think that I was getting through to him but in this moment, I realized that what was not as obvious as I thought, was very real and very true. I had built a relationship with this student who had a very hard shell brought on by life experiences. However, I was able to break through without even really realizing that I was positively impacting this student. He needed stability and someone to show they cared. I will always remember that and know that no matter how hard a student fights, eventually, I will win, and they will become better, simultaneously making me better as well.
7.) If you could make one major change in education, what would it be?
If I could make one major change to education, I would ensure that all teachers and students are treated with dignity, respect, openness, and are in a challenging and equitable environment to foster learning.
8.) What is your most rewarding experience as an educator?
I have been able to build and maintain awesome relationships with students, faculty, families, and much more. I am grateful for every experience I have had as an educator but I also feel that I have gained a large family through education. A family that wants to see others succeed and who are selfless. Education has opened so many doors that have made me a better role model for my students. Students growing and becoming better and successful is by far the most rewarding thing an educator could ever want.