For the longest, there has been rumors and joking amongst my students that my book is entitled, How to Please a Woman. They also think I’m from Colombia, but that’s another story. Now mind you, I have only told my students that I write books and have one coming out soon. I’ve only shared info about my book with a few staff members at school. Other writers would probably say that I should be hounding everyone about it, but I beg to differ. My philosophy has and will continue to be, if I build it, they will come. And they have (one of my assistant principals said that he Googled me!) I nearly slumped over laughing as he and several other staff members one by one admitted that they had done the same, too. But, bragging about my book just isn’t me-at least not on my job. I’m really keen on maintaining a high level of professionalism with the students I teach and the staff that I work with.
But, that’s hard to do when I go to correct students for using suggestive language to joke around with other students in class and they reply, “But, I learned from you! Bet you weren’t thinking about that when you wrote that book huh?”
At comments like those, I can’t help but laugh. How could you not? My kids are witty and so far it hasn’t been out of hand. If it ever does, Mr. Powell will layeth-the-smacketh-down, and Schmoney dance like nothing ever happened.
These past two weeks have been extremely challenging. But, I hate complaining so I won’t. What I will say is that throughout all the turmoil that I’ve been a part of or saw, I’m still smiling. As hard as life’s obstacles are, I keep reminding myself to see the joy even in the midst of pain. I’ve also learned and come to realize that as a teacher, I am just that– a teacher. I refuse to be Superman, he’s already taken. But I am very happy with being Mr. Powell. I go above and beyond to help my students. They go out of their way to help me as well. My classroom has a strong sense of culture and community. I would even go as far as to say that we are a family. It’s extremely difficult to see your family go through tough situations. You want the best for them all and it’s so frustrating when you feel like everything that you’re doing isn’t immediately helping. However, I am realizing that as long as I work in my locus of control I am helping.
So like my favorite animal, an eagle, I command myself to continue to soar and help as best I can. I will do my part to make the lives of people who I come into contact with better. And for those things that I do not have sovereignty over, I willingly allow God to take over.
Usually I do something big to celebrate Black History month each year. However, this year was different. My mindset has shifted from solely utilizing February as the only month in which I adequately take the time to pay homage and respect to the work of my ancestors. I have been pushing myself to not only build upon their legacy but remember it daily while I am enjoying the freedoms and liberties they fought so hard for me to have.
Today, one lead teacher told me that it was cathartic for her to see me teach my studenya. She went on to say how refreshing it is to see me interact with them and provide a postive example. I am so humbled by that and by no means take that lightly. Being in the forefront each day is no easy task but I have learned to become grateful for the opportunity. I can make a difference by helping them to accomplish the goals in which they aspire to accomplish. You may not be a teacher but there is someone near you who could benefit from your shared story. Someone in the world is listening, are you speaking?