Gooooooooood Morning Family,
How does it feel to wake up this morning and know you don’t have to go to work and your paycheck will still hit on Friday?
Four years ago, I woke up on this day (the 1st day of Summer break, not actually June 28th) and was panicked. I had walked out of my school the day before, with all my things, vowing never to return. Our graduation was on the last day of school and I had made it. I made it through the most difficult year of my teaching profession….ummmmm, more like one of the most difficult years of teaching. I watched my last mentee throw her cap in the air as I sat on the stage with a huge secret that only my principal and I knew.
I had resigned effective August 31st (no need not to get my last two months of health insurance). I hadn’t told my friends or my colleagues and most of my family didn’t know. I had spent ten plus years as an educator. It was my life, my identity and I had reached the point where I couldn’t do it anymore, so I walked away.
The morning after, the only thing I knew was that I was flying home to Antigua at the end of the week and I would figure out my next step there. I needed to be home and I needed to find myself. I needed to wake up to the sound of the ocean and smell that island breeze in order to redefine myself. That panic in my heart was more about what other people were going to think and say versus me having any doubt about the decision I had made.
I can imagine that some of you walked out of your school building yesterday, exhausted but exhilarated. Some of you will be taking on new responsibilities next year and this is your last summer being a 10 month employee. Some of you walked out knowing that you will be at a new school next year. Some of you walked out knowing next year will be your last because you are retiring and some of you walked out, thankful for the break and fully intending to return next year to do it all over again.
And then there are some of you who walked out yesterday and knew that you were never going to return to the thing that you had once loved more than anything else. You had had enough and now you are going in search of your freedom.
Let me tell those of you in the last category, you will be asking yourself the same questions I did when I walked away: Who was I, if I wasn’t a NYC DOE teacher, instructional coach, dean, assistant principal?
And I’ll give you the answer that was given to me; you are all of those things, with or without those titles.
If we’re not friends on Facebook then you be missing my gems of wisdom. I wrote this one earlier this week, once the decision had been finalized.
What decision you ask? I got you. Be patient.
This weekend I spent an inordinate amount of time listening to Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Claud Anderson and Dr. France Cress Welsing and I began re-reading Carter G. Woodson’s The Miseducation of the Negro
WARNING: If you attempt to engage in all of the above texts at the same time: DO NOT DO IT. You will be left overwhelmed and confused. Drive slow homie.
I also spent a lot of time ideating around what I want to do with my resources; my time, my talent and my mind. I think the last two weeks the universe was sending a lot of messages to me. Some hurt like hell, while others were extremely invigorating. I find myself in a very similar position from 4 years ago. My last day at work will be August 31st and I am excitedly waiting for the beginning of next week to go on my baecation. (Ooooh he is rolling his eyes while reading this.)
But this time, it’s not to ponder on who I am without the DOE or NYU but rather to execute on the master plan and if you’re reading this right now, you play an important roll in that plan.
CREAD will be relaunching in September 2017 with an entire new look and and a boat load of offerings and products dedicated to the same purpose: to support teachers, educators and community members in ensuring the positive racial identity development through education of young people of the African Diaspora.
You know the saying, “shoot your shot?”
Well, it’s usually used in reference to a dude trying to holla at chick. However, it’s more global representation means to take a chance and go after what you want.
Or as Beyonce, told us:
I see it, I want it,
I stunt, yellow-bone it. I dream it,
I work hard, I grind ’til I own it.
I twirl on my haters, albino alligators.
El Camino with the seat low, sippin’ Cuervo with no chaser.
Sometimes I go off (I go off), I go hard (I go hard). Take what’s mine (take what’s mine), I’m a star (I’m a star). ‘Cause I slay (slay), I slay (hey), I slay (okay), I slay (okay).
All day (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay), I slay (okay)
We gon’ slay (slay), gon’ slay (okay), we slay (okay), I slay (okay)
I slay (okay), okay (okay), I slay (okay), okay, okay, okay, okay
Okay, okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, ’cause I slay
Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation, ’cause I slay
Prove to me you got some coordination, ’cause I slay
Slay trick, or you get eliminated.
We’re shooting our shot. I’ve gone around the country speaking about it and now I’m going to fully be about it. I’ve dreamt of what my purpose driven life looked like and my current position made it a part time reality. Now it’s time for me to make it a full time reality.
Cheers to all my educators out there. You’ve had a long hard year and you deserve every minute of every day of your summer break. CREAD will be in your inbox all Summer, keeping you honest during the months of July and August. And we gonna get ya mind all the way right in September.
Now you can go back to sleep, your mid morning nap awaits you.
As for me, I’m planning the rest of my priorities.