Back in college, I had a professor who hated me. Okay, maybe I am being a bit dramatic, but she definitely made my educational journey more difficult, or at least she tried. Let’s call her Professor P. Professor P, is a well-known educator and researcher, and even became the department chair of the education program while I was a student. She taught the only year-long course in the elementary education program, Literacy Methods. While she had all of these accolades, she seemed to not vibe with me or who I was becoming.
Professor P passed back our first assignment of the semester, it was a book review. I thought it was relatively easy, probably should have spent a little more time on it, but I knew I had hit the marks to receive a decent grade. As other students’ received their papers I saw scores such as 98, 99, 100, 100, etc. I received my paper and it said. 68- please see me during office hours.
I made an appointment to see Professor S. during office hours. I sat in the chair across from her. She peered at me over those glasses that never seemed to sit properly on her face, and she said, and I quote...
“From what I have observed in class, I do not think you will be a good teacher.”
Me and my 19 year old, sassy, outspoken, and old-school Kanye cocky self immediately rebutted, “honestly, I believe that God has put a calling on my life to be a teacher, so I don’t think it matters what you think.” Oh, she did NOT like that. Well long story short, she made my year with her as uncomfortable as possible.
But I persisted. She told me that my peers didn’t want to work with me, and assigned me entire group projects to do alone.
As regards the classroom planning project, I will expect you to create a project based on your focal child and 19 other children to be selected from the appropriate lists posted on our Toolkit site in the CPP section. I will want you to complete the entire project, Reka, including the comprehension lesson plan for an ELL student at the preproduction level and a comprehension plan for an ELL student at an intermediate level, as well as the 4 other described lesson plans. I think you will find the CPP power point very helpful for your work.
Even followed me around the classroom, and acknowledged my tardiness even if it was only a couple of minutes late (for an 8 am class).
What she thought was going to be a three-way meeting ended up being six of us, Prof P, the Dean, me, my Black advisor, my other course professor, and my mommy (don’t mess with Black girls, cuz there is a stronger Black woman who’s got her back!). But, I persevered. I aced the course, graduated and she actually was assigned to my graduation line, so Professor P herself, had to hood me as I received my Master of Teaching from the University of Virginia. This ordeal was rough, but I learned so much about myself, about adversity, about how everyone I encounter will not want me to succeed, and will intentionally make it harder to do so. Yet, with my faith, determination, and my support system, I can and will achieve success.
After finishing my first month as a faculty member at the University of San Diego, it is such a surreal full circle moment as I now teach Methods of Literacy and Language, the Literacy Bloc course at USD. What she thought would break me only made me stronger. ISAIAH 54:17