Posted in Thoughts About Children

Katanji Brown Jackson… Inspiration for our Children 💕🌈🙏🏽🍎

Such a Historic Moment…
Graduating from our public schools…
Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1988…
What an inspiration for our young children!!!

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I am quite proud to have been a teacher for thirty-eight years

I came to teaching quite by accident I always had an interest in the arts; perhaps becoming a fashion designer

Happy Life Moment…Dream Maker…My family together at Aunt’s wedding… I was the flower girl…

However, overcoming my own challenging childhood… Parents divorcing early in my life…I was called upon to take care of myself…Due to my mother’s work… I had to get myself to school each morning…I was a latchkey child…In addition to that responsibility, I had a sister who was six years older, with mental health issuesI felt my mother was relying on me to look after her

My early life, definitely lead me to the realization….I had a tremendous need to helping others….

So, in my senior year of high school, I made the decision to become a social worker, and attend Florida State University, in TallahasseeIn sharing my decision with an uncle…It was he who suggested, becoming a teacher, because it would better suit me… He believed it was….

A more stable career for a young woman...

Following this insight; One particular day that I will never forget, in my senior English class at Miami High SchoolMy favorite, pretty, young teacher, Ms. Kempler, commented that she liked my dress!… She said that it reminded her of the University of Florida… It was the University’s colors of “orange and blue“…

Wow, I so appreciated her comment!.. Back then because of my personal life, I never felt noticedMs. Kempler did notice me!

Ms. Kempler had gone to the University of Florida; in a town called Gainesville… I had never even heard of, until this very moment…Well… my decision becoming a teacher, was made that day in 1966 my senior year, and go to the University of Florida, just like Ms. Kemper!

Thank you,

Dear Ms Kempler

Soon after, that February in 1967…my mother died unexpectedly, but before she passed…

I shared with her the news, in the hospital, that I was just accepted to the University of Florida, and made her a promise that day, I would go to college!

The road was definitely not easy…Living with friends until this challenging high school year ended… Graduation, and then working that summer in New York where my father was living…Monies earned would help with college expenses… College funds were minimal…

I would be beginning my college career alone … My best friend’s mother saw me off at the Miami Seaboard Train Station August,1967…I Arrived on campus in a taxi… aloneWatching everyone with their families , and I by myself and determination…

My early college school years were quite difficult… I was even told by a college advisor…I did not belong because of my test scores…Yet, I was determined to prove them wrong …And I feel so blessed…I was determined…I succeeded… Even getting married young, while attending college; and having my daughter,…

March of 1972 I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education…

Doing it with self- determination and blessed with college grants and loans, and food stamps…

Then immediately, getting my first teaching job…April 1, 1972…Traveling 90 miles a day just to teach…

Now as I reflect on my thirty-eight years; I am quite proud of all accomplished…

I have taught so many children from grades ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade; dating back from “1972”, up to my last year, retiring in “2015” …And spending more than twenty-five years in first grade…

I also went on to get a Masters of Science in Administration from an accelerated program from Nova University…an opportunity I felt would enrich my teaching journey …

And then later, I even had a wonderful opportunity teaching a college seminar for beginning teachers back at the University of Florida, while on a paid sabbatical working on an advanced course work in counseling education…I felt like I was living dream my mother had for me…

And I have never looked back… Becoming a teacher was the most important decision I made to channel my passion for helping…

Thanks to my mother, and those that believed in my determination... I was teaching our young precious children!!…

How I hope my students can still remember back to the time they spent in my class so many years ago, and remember that love I have for them, smile warmly at some of the memories, and definitely have the confidence in themselves that they can amount to everything they put their minds”

And…now more than ever…I will always advocate for our children

“Reflections”… My Journey Does Continue…

In my many years of teaching, my main focus was….to reach all of my children…That….along with the rigors of the required curriculum…I believed in order for young children to be successful…they needed to know I cared…

Since this new millennium, especially teaching children from a diverse African American background…

I believed…those children needed to feel pride in their history…not just in February, when Black History is part of the curriculum…

I felt taking those opportunities when I could to fit in to our day..

Talks about how their values of character such as: kindness, working hard, and … never giving up!
Are those qualities that people should be judged…

And not by what they look like…

I would always call upon that memory of

Dr, Martin Luther King” …

And how much he believed and never giving up on this Dream….

Using myself as an example of when I was a young child I would share that I would watch the news about Dr. King on television… and what a special man…he was…

…My children with eyes wide open felt that he was real , because Ms Sexton saw him!!!

I would also emphasize the story of Rosa Parks, as another real person, I also heard about when I was little, and her bravery in how she spoke out, and took a stand to something that was wrong!

I would also decorate our room with posters, and the children’s art portraying their black history…

All my personal anecdotes helped convey their history in a very relatable way…Making it relevant and hoping they too would be proud of who the are ; striving for values and achievement

All our children, whatever their ethnicity… race… religion… would be…

Loved…And Accepted…!!!

Black History all Year…

Posted in Mission

Ready or Not…

My Classroom is ready for learning….Hopefully when my new first graders arrive Monday, August 18th…Our class will provide them a place to feel safe and learn to appreciate their love of learning…

This will be my final year…I will be retiring…

Back in 1972 when I first began, there was such hope and idealism…We just survived civil unrest…We just  integrated our schools; hopefully providing all our children a strong education with such wonderful programs such as: Head Start and Parenting Programs …We teachers were ready to teach and inspire all our children!

And now, sadly as I embark on retirement, I so very feel we have lost what is truly important..Inspiring and teaching all our children…
However, I am still hopeful that we will not let this continue, allowing powerful businesses taking control of our public schools…

We will find our way back to what is essentially  Important…
Teaching all of our children! wpid-20140806_141403.jpgwpid-20140806_141112.jpg
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Continue reading “Ready or Not…”