By Samantha Williams, Managing Editor / Sr. Contributing Writer
When you think about it, how many exceptional teachers do you know? These are the ones who were born to teach, and they have dedicated their lives to teaching the next generation of learners.
Our very own Publisher & Founder Leonard Webb stated “my assistant principal Mr. Pepe at Copley Square High School in Boston MA, now the Muriel Snowden International High School, had an amazing effect on my life. I was quickly heading in the wrong direction, but with the genuine concern of Mr. Pepe and him literally calling me out in front of my fellow students, it woke me up and help me to see the importance of getting an education.”
Henry Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” Medria Blue-Ellis, Principal of the Engineering Science University Magnet School (ESUMS), is moved by this quote because teachers spend hours identifying ways to connect with each of their students. Medria stated, “Teachers part waters and lead the ready to an academic promise land, and are among the first role models of altruism…Those unsung heroes are lighthouses for the lost, a wing for the weary, and a bridge to bright futures. The landscape of the teacher is vast, ethereal, and everlasting.”
Many of you can testify that your mom, dad, aunt, grandmother, neighbor, or friend are teachers. Dr. Lonnie Garrison is the Retired Principal of James Hillhouse High School. He shared that in his 40 years’ of experience, he’s noticed that “teachers guide the learning process that results in them developing the academic foundation needed for success.”
Dawn E. Mosby, teacher at Bowen Elementary in Massachusetts, is an example of a dedicated teacher who has found her last 33 years of teaching 1st grade to be extremely rewarding. Her students enter 1st grade learning to read, and they leave reading to learn! This is what inspirational teachers do, best – they challenge their students.
Dawn E. Mosby
Exceptional teachers are our unsung heroes because they make unconditional sacrifices for their students. These teachers are miracle workers, who play the role of confidant, therapist, nurse, caregiver, disciplinarian, and more – all while teaching. Author, Jon-Michael Poff, also gave us 24 Reasons Teachers are the Unsung Heroes of the World. Did you know that teachers work really long hours? Their days start hours before the actual school day begins, and it ends when students are already in bed. And, let’s face it, teachers have to live and work in front of the toughest audience in the world. No one is more honest than children!
11th-grade history teacher, Kevin Dua, with Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, located in Massachusetts, was inspired to teach by many passionate teachers, including his mother. Kevin considers it “an honor and privilege to have a trusted platform to follow, support, challenge, and grow with young people…It is vital that an educator tries their earnest not to neglect such a position, or moments, that can be positively impactful.”
Grab any teachers’ cell phone, and you will see tons upon tons of pictures and videos of their students. They capture the sweetest, smartest, and strangest moments with their children who make their hearts soar. These moments come from connecting with their students. Nathalie Ais, an instructional coach in Cambridge Public Schools, believes it is important for teachers to connect first and teach second. Nathalie stated, “Connecting with students can be the difference of students actually trying on a test they could care less about or not trying at all.”
Despite only making up 7% of all teachers, Black teachers are a cornerstone of many minority communities. Hispanic teachers account for 9% of all teachers, and Black male teachers account for 2%.
Have you ever had a Black male teacher? To have one is an extremely rare experience. Also, when researching the Role Model Effect, it was found that “Black students who are exposed to one Black teacher by third grade were 13 percent more likely to enroll in college.”
These statistics only affirm what we already know – the number of minority teachers is small, yet mighty. Black and Hispanic teachers are critical pillars of our communities. They push children to strive for greatness while celebrating their individual uniqueness and embracing their diversity.
Black and minority teachers are our unsung heroes, and we proudly celebrate all of your accomplishments, awards, and contributions. Thank you!