PLEASE TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF.
I am a twin and originally from Philadelphia, PA. I first moved out of the Northeast and to Dallas, TX in 2011. I left in 2016 and came back midway through 2017. My wife and I have been married for 4 years, coming up on 5 years in August, and we have a 2 year old son who turns 3 in May. Everyone wants to believe that their career choice will improve the world that they live in for the next generation. I thought I would be an attorney, fighting for social justice by providing a voice to those who have been marginalized in our society. Yet, my goals and dreams took a dramatic turn following my experiences observing teachers in a NYC Charter School. I saw firsthand how teachers change and improve the world, one student at a time. I graduated from the University of Florida in May 2018, with a major in Political Science and two minors in both Educational Studies and History. I am currently employed at Democracy Prep Endurance Middle School where everyday I am proud to say I am part of the change I saw in NYC Charter Schools.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO DO THE WORK THAT YOU DO?
A deep desire for equity and an obligation to pour into the next generation like the generations before me have poured into me. I feel like I have a responsibility to instill in my "younger brothers and sisters" what was instilled in me by my grandparents and people my parents age. I believe that the scholars I see everyday have great potential and will make great contributions to society.
HOW HAS RELAY HELPED YOU TO BECOME A MORE IMPACTFUL TEACHER?
It has helped me see how every minute in a classroom is meaningful to my development and to my scholars development. It has helped me to see what an equitable classroom looks like and how my biases can contribute to equity or inequity. They have also taught me the level of attention to detail and intentionality it takes to run a successful classroom.
AT RELAY, WE TRULY BELIEVE THAT A TEACHER IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPACTFUL PEOPLE IN A STUDENTS’ LIFE. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US SOMEONE WHO HAS IMPACTED YOUR LIFE IN A SIMILAR WAY?
One of my teachers' in Middle School was Mr. Brewer. We didn't even have a personal relationship outside of his history class but they way he taught the material and his passion for American history has been forever imprinted in my memory and inspires me to teach with that type of energy and ability to move students to critical thinking.
Also, I had a teacher who was also the track coach in high school, and I would take the time to go visit whenever I had the chance after I graduated. What stands out to me was not just how he taught content, but how concerned he was about our character developing. He was always helping us think about the effect our actions have on others and what our actions said about us as individuals.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT TEACHING IN YOUR CITY/TOWN?
Dallas has an enormous need for good teachers. There are many large cities that may feel this way, but Dallas is unique in that it is #1 among the major cities in childhood poverty--so that work that we do as teachers with literacy and education directly connects to equity and opportunities for those who wouldn't normally be given a chance to succeed.
TELL US ONE WORD THAT YOU WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR STUDENTS. WHAT INSPIRES OR RESONATES WITH YOU ABOUT THEM THE MOST?
My students are very inquisitive. They are all very observant and have a lot of questions about life that I try to answer according to their expectations.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE, MOVIE OR BOOK THAT HELPS MOTIVATE YOU & THE WORK THAT YOU DO?
A quote from Tupac Shakur says that "I'm not saying I'm going to change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that changes the world...and that's our job to spark someone watching us."
Is there anything else that you would like to share about yourself and/or the work that you do?
I am excited about the future of my scholars and the mutual transformational relationship that will happen to both me as well as my scholars.