A child inscribed “Mr. Scott is a ni**a, a b***h a** ni**a” into the wooden window ledge. That’s serious. Or, is it? I realize the child who scrawled their discontent permanently into the wood was merely expressing their frustration with me. It most likely stemmed from my insistence on their doing homework, or respecting the class rules, or something else they interpreted as “mean.”
What’s truly serious is my role and responsibility as a teacher. Not just a teacher, but a male teacher of color. In the inner city. I’m a minority in many respects when it comes to the education field, nevertheless I teach as if I had the support of millions of individuals just like myself to buoy me up. I’m not in my school just to teach, but to be a role model, a consistent male image, a father figure, a professional, a leader, a sage, a coach, a resource, and so many other things. That’s serious.