I really appreciate all the love and support that I’ve received! The million dollar question is… What’s Next?

After posting my article reaching thousands of people, it has empowered me, even more, to shake the table when it comes to our Title 1 Schools. But first, I must regroup from working in a toxic environment. Self-care is vital in this process. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, had nightmares, and anxiety attacks. Some people will never understand feeling being torn with trying to save kids all while saving yourself. It’s damaging and I would never wish that pain on anyone.

As a teacher, I gave my all to my students. Even when I wasn’t feeling my best, I still pushed through because I know that these students deserve my all. It was never a question in a student’s mind if I was there to help them or there for a paycheck. Unfortunately, many students question the real intention of their teacher.

The advantage of teaching elective classes is having autonomy in the schedule to build relationships with students. I had a Pen Pal program where students could hand write me letters and I would write them back. The students loved that they could talk to me about real-life problems. In my classroom, I would give them a typical teenage scenario to reflect and discuss with the class. This allowed the students to learn from each other and problem solve. I was an authentic teacher that kept it real with them. We need more authenticness in the educational system.

Our educational system is in a state of crisis and we must do something about it. We are slowing closing our schools due to charter schools. Charter schools do not even meet half of the requirements of public schools. Now think about the extra requirements for Title I schools. Public schools are no longer profitable so therefore the charter schools are on the rise to the highest bidder. Our government has allowed public schools to be dismantled meanwhile blaming the teachers for low test scores and poor performance.

Many of our students suffer from broken homes and relationships that spill over into our schools and classrooms. The culture of parenting has shifted into something that I can’t even put into words. To be frank, it’s a hot a** mess.

These kids are holding on to more things that some of us never had to think about. I had a student that was thinking about where he could sleep that night and was yelled at by a teacher. The teacher scolded him for not paying attention and told him that he was going to fail. This is extremely damaging to a child and impacts them for life.

I plan on working with local Tampa communities to push for parental involvement and engagement. These broken families need to have tough conversations for the sake of their kids. The public school system won’t change unless we rebuild these communities again. I can’t do any of that until I heal myself.

Until next time!