Outstanding Educator Award
In the classroom, I'm very comfortable. My students, I hope, feel the love I have for teaching and for them. I try to relate to the learners as fellow adults and share with them from my educational and life experiences. I like to tell stories of my youth and intersperse with stories from my parents and grandparents. I use biblical references, without citing chapter and verse, to edify learners. I use lots of old sayings and truisms to make the point that everyone knows something that's worth sharing and everyone can learn. I encourage learners to "think first" then "think fast" (for test-taking purposes.) Focusing on developing skills and confidence has worked for learners over the years. I've found that oftentimes adults are s0 "beaten down" by the world we must live in that they lack the self-esteem to pursue their dreams. They have believed for a long time that they don't deserve anything better than what they have. Their view is limited to the "here and now" of sustaining a family. I try to help students look beyond and be prepared to walk forward.
At last night's graduation the featured speaker was Lisa Nutter, wife of Philadelphia's Mayor and executive director of a local youth organization. She quoted from Galations 6, verse 9. I would add verse 10, the "therefore" verse which links the 2 verses and makes the point:
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."