The essay below was written as one of my final documents prior to earning my Master’s degree in 2008.
Imagine yourself as a student in my classroom. Listen to the glorious sound of the buttons pressing on the TI-84. Screeching pencils, hurriedly create what will be the solution to a problem as the slight hint of hesitation looms near. You think that you might have the answer so you look around for reassurance. All you need is one look…one glance to know that you are on the correct path. But then, confidence jolts you and intercepts your need for reassurance. However, just to be sure, you ask…”is this correct?” To your dismay, the reply is not as you feel it should be. For the question has now been reciprocated…”you tell me.” Before you can finish your explanation, it happens again. Confidence fills your soul and you reply…”never mind, I get it.”
I cannot dare explain who I am without first telling you where I have been. I was once an elementary student whose best friend had a name – Confidence. That old friend of mine…Confidence…stayed with me until around the end of fifth grade. Losing confidence was okay because in his place came a new friend – Dreams. No matter what names anyone called me or how many times I was beat up on the way home from school, Dreams would help me to escape the realities of life and I could do and be anything that I wanted as long as I sat down and thought hard enough.
It didn’t matter that my work was deficient or that I completely blew off studying. I knew that when I closed my eyes I would be a Supreme Court judge, a lawyer, doctor or even a teacher. No situation in life could bother me as long as I dreamed. By the time that I made it to high school, dreaming got me in trouble. I dreamed so much that some of my teachers did not think that I was a capable student. Even when I did apply myself, I was accused of cheating in lieu of being praised. However, dreaming never left me. I was and still am a dreamer.
Soon I became a college freshman with a dream bigger than I was ready to handle. Unfortunately, I had not met Desire and I learned rather quickly that a dream minus desire is equivalent to an unemployed college drop out. After a few years of maturing and working towards a thriving career as a distribution manager. Confidence came back. My mathematics ability helped escalate me to an elevated status within my field. I was good and I knew it. I was caught up in the idea of having this amazing job and being able to provide for my family without finishing my education. Of course, that soon changed when I met…Reality…in the form of being unexpectedly laid off from my job. This time, Confidence was still with me. I was now more than a dreamer. I was a force to be reckoned with because with Confidence came Desire.
So, here I stand. I am a college graduate working in what may be one of the most influential fields in the world. I am proudly standing in the shadows of history as more than just an educator. I am a motivator, an illuminator and even a dream guider. While I am constantly being influenced by the likes of educators like Dr. Evelyn Granville, who was the second African American woman to obtain a PhD in mathematics, I am inspiring minds in my own community. For it was only a few weeks ago that I had a moment that really solidified my belief that I was called to teach. It was a moment that I may have missed at any other time in my life had the twist and turns that guided me to this moment not occurred.
While sitting with a group of my students at an event listening to speakers from around the country tell their stories of how they achieved success through hard work and perseverance, one of my students turned to me and said, “Ms. Davis they should have gotten you up there to speak because there is no one in this room that inspires me as much as you.” She then added, “Every time that I see you, I am reminded that things are possible.” As I embark on yet another goal, to be called a master in my beloved field of education, I tread with a deeper vision of what my presence means to those that confidence left behind and the dreamers that enter our classrooms every day.
Who am I? I am a motivator who encourages students to think above and beyond their wildest dreams. I am a challenger who asks students to question themselves and the world around them. I am an enabler who helps students maintain confidence when they need it most. I am an investor who vests upon the minds of my students to use technology so that they too can be ready to thrive in the world around them.
I am a walking reminder of the possibilities that lie ahead. I am an echo of unlimited dreams.
I am a teacher.