Last night, i went to my weekly, Friday night backyard get down. It’s a nice, family environment with good food, good music, and good people. As i was approaching, i saw a large group of folks walking towards the gate, so i hurried to get in line cuz don’t nobody wanna order they food after a group that big.
It turns out it was a group of students from Texas A&M in town for a tour of local culture. As i’m waiting to place my order, i hear a sister hesitantly call my name.
“It is you! Wow! Remember me from COBRA?!”
COBRA was a high school leadership program my partner in crime, Samori Camara, and i ran back when we were living in Texas. It was for boys, but two ambitious sisters wanted in on the goodness, so we helped them form their own group.
This was one of those two sisters.
We talked for quite a bit, and she updated me on what she’s been up to and all that. She’s a junior in college now.
Afterward, i started thinking, yo, what if i was on some craziness out here? What if i was buggin and acting wild? What impression would that give off to this sister or anyone else for that matter? My current students come to this event, too. How would that come across if they saw they teacher carrying on?
i know i still have a lot of room for improvement as a teacher, but i do take the position seriously. It’s not just an academic position. i must, at all times, whether in the classroom or not, exhibit the traits and values that i promote to them. It is just as much socialization as it is education. i am responsible for who they will become.
Righteous character is not a shirt to be worn and taken off. It is flesh that covers your bones and keeps you warm for the rest of your days.
They are watching. And if, in a few years when they are choosing the types of men and women they want to be, they remember me as a positive example, then i’ve done my job.