I submitted my resignation a few months ago. I was told that it would not be accepted. The comment that was made (I’m paraphrasing now ) is if you leave what will happen when you experience [racism] elsewhere. I made every attempt to resolve the issue; including trying to get mediation…..but There is a story I will share later about that.
I received a letter of termination today and the irony was I was heading to see my students from last year graduate. I couldn’t even get mad or upset. When I read the letter of termination, I knew immediately who submitted and what student I “humiliated” and “bullied.” His mom asked me to continue lecturing him because he was failing all of his classes. She told me he came home talking about how much he needed me to fuss at him and surprising how much he liked me…. but I guess that wasn’t taken into account 🤷🏽♀️. My soror stood there with me as his mom said these things. My son stood there. His mom said other things…
I actually had my son read the entire letter aloud for me because I was trying to make it to my babies graduation. I shook my head and I realized that when I asked God to open up a new door for me, this was what he was doing. I hated teaching this year. It was a combination of everything, but the biggest was….. another story..
I kept replaying that day I the students mom…. it was a few months ago when I met a sorority sister at Panera Bread. That day I ran into the young man who I “fussed at (while “distressing” one of my students) mother. She said she wanted to meet me because her son came home and told her about me. She said I need help with him and told me to keep fussing at him. She shared how many F’s he had and shared other personal things. My son was ironically standing right there along with my sorority sister to hear.
Today one of my babies from last year who was probably the headache for the entire school hugged me and while standing beside his mom, my son took a picture and heard him and his mom tell me “thank you.” He said you saved my life. Another one ran over to me and said the same thing. Then I stood and another said YO!! Ms. V you made it!! His mom looked at me and said you know he still has the card that you gave him by his bed. It was from the letters I wrote to all of the football team.
One of the football players came over and said, remember that time you fussed at us for about …(can’t share it all lol)… you are the reason why I just graduated!
One of the moms texted me not long ago ago and said the same thing that mom in Panera told me… (she is ok with me taking pictures of the text..) I realize a lot with that!
And while I was terminated for doing what I’ve always done and what parents always “love” me for, but I realize that it’s not always going to be appreciated…
As a teacher, many walk on eggshells because they are so focused on catering to…. (hush ki..)
As they, you, and others watch videos of teachers you also have to be “open-minded” about what has happened. I remember one of my law colleagues sharing how we are quick to jump to conclusions and during a trial they made a person whose passion looked as if it was bad and they didn’t know the entire story.
She also mentioned during this trial that so many teachers are held to a standard that parents don’t even hold themselves up to. I know as a parent I fuss at my Black son because I don’t want him to be like that student whose accused of rape or that student whose parents have thrown their hands up and don’t know what to do with them.
But after we both read the termination, we digested it, we realized that there was no ill-intent and he reminded me of what the young students mom told me to do for her son, I let go. And once I let go, I got the best surprise ever! I got to see my babies from last year!! OMG!!! I got to see them!! They hugged me! They told me how my fussing and yelling helped them and even their parents told me they appreciated it…
I marched in the band on the collegiate level and I recall my band director “cussing us out.” We are professionals and pretty often laugh about his antics. I was in the military for four years and I remember my drill sergeants… I was always pushing with my battle for laughing… they yelled and screamed and cussed …
My first terminal degree (JD) I remember my law professors ranting and even making some stand up … embarrassing us. I sat beside a young girl who would shake in class. I rubbed her leg and told her to calm down. She was scared and nervous … life didn’t prepare her for such real life… and she dropped out.
Today’s lesson for me was reflect, but be true to myself. I write an inmate, I volunteer with our youth, and I’ve been applauded for what I was let go for….
#ThisThingCalledLife…be true to you!!