Today my scholars were behaving in a way that made me feel unappreciated. I was so moved that I felt the need to address it by having this conversation with my first graders. I do everything I can to raise their consciousness and make you better on EVERY level, even if I have to appeal to their sense of shame.
So I told them straight up. “I don’t have to be here. I was a House Wife, and stay at home Mom for 20 years. I wrote children’s books for a living, and traveled the country doing as many Author Visits to schools as I wanted. I decided to Teach here at 47 years old
because there are people out there who don’t want you to be successful. I did not say they don’t believe you can be successful because those people would not go out of their way to put so many obstacles in your way if they didn’t think you were capable of being successful. There is no doubt in my mind that these people are betting against you. In fact, by the time you are in 3rd grade, they are already deciding how many prisons they need to build to house your future selves.
Imagine that. By the time you are 8 years old, there are people who have counted you out as someone who is incapable of making choices that will lead them to any destination in life that does not include being locked up in jail. At 8 years old, you haven’t even discovered who you are and what you are capable of for yourself, and there are people who believe, you are incapable of manifesting a destiny of GREATNESS. That is a LIE, and I need your help to prove them wrong.
Now THEY may have counted you out, but I am here as an insurance policy to give you every opportunity to ensure you succeed. You will never have another teacher like me. When I am with you, I give you everything, my time, my love and the riches of my expert experiences.
If you find value in what I bring to the table, then stop wasting my time and yours! I am here in this classroom because I love you. I believe in You! You may be 6, and 7 years old, but I’m going to need you to step up, and make a choice to do what needs to be done to be successful. Success is a choice you have to make to get there. If you make that choice 1st, then everything you do will reflect it. So take advantage of this time we have together.
No one should have to beg, or convince you to do what you need to do to help yourself! Now let’s get to work; we don’t have any time to waste!”
I said this all softly, with genuine passion behind every word, and tears that never fell, brimming behind my eyelids. Then I stood tall, turned around, and wrote the “I Can” statement on the board. In the thick silence, I heard a student whisper we need to hurry and copy what Ms. Mutiya is writing. Then I heard 27 student’s pencils race to finish copying what I was writing ,as I was writing it. My scholars were on task, engaged, and maintained their Self Control for the rest of the day. My heart exploded with JOY!
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