Today, August 4, 2017, AJC educational journalist Maureen Downey highlighted the thoughts of beginning teacher, Genetta Reeves, on her blog, “Get Schooled.” Below is the link to Ms. Downey’s article, and following the link are my words in response to my listening to the video of Miss Reeves’ thoughts upon entering an educational career.
“The words of teacher Genetta Reeves, from the video, above:
‘When passion meets purpose, . . . my quality of life has increased immensely.’
‘I cannot live my life based on how much money I am going to make. I need to be happy in what I’m doing and in my profession.’
‘I really do care.’
Genetta Reeves is a person who was born to be a teacher. Teaching, and love for it, is as much a gift or a calling as it is a skill.
The business mind will never really understand the view of life that motivates teachers. It has never been money. It has always been answering that question of “Why are we here?” Finding your gift, if that is teaching, and going for it with all that is in you, the need to serve and the need to see life flourish, not only with plants but with human beings.
Let us, as we appreciate the gifts that teachers have to offer society, acknowledge that English, history, and the arts are equal in value to science and math. All excellent teachers will probe the question of WHY with their students in their particular disciplines. English, history, and the arts build the understanding of human nature in depth. The world needs that understanding as much as it needs how to build rockets and bridges. We need more bridges to understanding ourselves and others throughout the planet.
Miss Reeves will be an outstanding math teacher and she will affect positively the lives of thousands of students in the course of her career, as well as the families of those students, and she will be happy and blessed in her chosen profession, as I was.”
And, on August the 5th, the story of first year teacher, Reginald Hairston, on “Get Schooled” through the following link: http://getschooled.blog.myajc.com/2017/08/05/first-year-gwinnett-teacher-giving-up-accounting-for-teaching-kids-need-role-models/
(1) “I regret that my thoughts regarding the spiritual element of education, which I see reflected in the beings of both Ms. Reeves and Mr. Hairston, were not allowed to be shown to the general public, but only to myself. I regret this not for myself, but for the perceptions shared, which I believe would have further shown the direction that public education in Georgia should seek.”
Number 2 was not published on “Get Schooled” for the general public, but only for my eyes:
(2) “Another person who will be a gift to students, their families, and to education in Georgia. Both Mr. Hairston and Ms. Reeves, from the previous thread, are well-stated young people (yes, 39 is still young) who have a passion to work with students and to foster the growth of each of their students.
I will always believe that education and teaching have a spiritual element of no particular creed but which have a connection with the eternal force of love and belief in the inherent value of every living thing, including every student.
And, yes, I will always see the vision and the words of Thomas Jefferson coming through that spiritual vision of humankind. Jefferson knew that our democratic-republic could not survive without a well-educated populace, through public schools paid for by the taxes of every citizen. This was not a for-profit model for educational growth, but a service model.
My plea is that the populace will come to understand that education can never be controlled by the corporate, business world, or mind, whose focus is on profit, not service.”
(3) “Maureen, thank you for this series of interviews of these outstanding first year teachers. I am impressed and gratified to hear their voices and their thoughts. I, myself, did not become a teacher until I was 27 years old, having spent my early and mid twenties working for New York University and earning credit there for my bachelors’ degree in English. I have believed that that life I led in NYC in the Village enhanced my understanding of others and of life, itself, in depth, and, thus, made me a better classroom teacher for 35 years in Georgia, than I would have been without those years of learning and working outside of education before I graduated from college in NYC at age 27.”