Typically, they tell you not to glean philosophical insight from 1970s Burt Reynolds movies.
But there it is, The Bandit’s answer to the defeatist statement: “…But they say it can’t be done”.
I think that’s what drives me to teach where I do. Maybe no one is explicitly saying “it” can’t be done, but the writing’s on the wall.
Lack of resources. Violence. Lack of drive. Lack of exposure. Lack of positivity. Lack of teachers willing to risk comfort for a different type of pay-off. Lack of opportunity for innovation, more opportunity for “catching up”.
But isn’t that the reason chips were made for shoulders?
My reason of being is a 7th grade girl who reads at a 2nd grade level and wants to be a public defense lawyer. She understands she’s behind, but wants to catch up. My reason of being is the fact that most of my students don’t know the difference between a city and a country at the beginning of the year, but by the end are working with Women’s Factory Worker Committees in Mexico and chatting with students from Spain. My reason of being is a room full of 7th graders no one else wants to teach. That ran two teachers out of the room, and requires an assistant principal to sit in during class so fights don’t break out. But when they work on their projects in Spanish class, they are driven, caring, trustworthy, passionate and in a word awesome.
My reason of being is connecting students with the resources they need to show the rest of the world how brilliant and compassionate they are.
My reason of being is to show the world that inner-city kids aren’t charity cases. They have genius that goes beyond reading scores. They have brilliance that goes beyond the word can’t. They have things to teach the rest of the world.
Here are some videos I’ve made recently that show how we’re trying to bridge the tech gap in my neighborhood. We like to not wait for things to happen.
This is just the first step. I can’t wait to see them take the next one.
That’s the reason I’m here.
I look forward to working with you all at the cooperative catalyst. I am humbled to participate with such a forward thinking group. Let’s help do wonderful things.