I've been teaching for the past 10 years. My brother asked me how many students do I think I've reached over the past decade. My guesstimation was roughly 50%. Which for any teacher feels like not nearly enough. In the beginning of this business, one of my Columbia Urban Educator mentors said, we go to bed thinking about how we can forgive ourselves. This is a thankless job.
My satisfaction comes through young people seeing the connections between the classroom and the streets. The less education you have, the less critical consciousness you have. The essential question Why? can lead you down a rabbit hole where you have more questions than answers. It also brings you to a lifelong journey of self exploration that hopefully will give you the tools to dismantle the oppressive system that has condemned you to the hood. However, the current situation with our youth is a state of overwhelming apathy.
You only live once - our youth have readily adopted a mixtape philosophy to life. We have lived many lives, and this day this moment is a slice of the bigger picture. What happens in the next ten years? When these youth are no longer young? How will they mature? How will they become responsible? For each other? For the world? I pray for light and guidance because these youth have no context of how the rest of the world is leaving them behind. We just keep screaming for them to catch up. Cosby said, the young people are telling us something, but we refuse to listen. What if they don't even know what they want? God Bless and Good Luck.