An Open Letter To Jaheim President And Darius Smith
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Student Life

To Jaheim Prezident and Darius Smith, Future Black Educators At College Of Charleston

We need more black, male educators, and we need them now.

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To Jaheim Prezident and Darius Smith, Future Black Educators At College Of Charleston
@theellenshow

As a future educator also getting my degree at the College of Charleston, I would like to say congratulations on getting in The College. We are so happy to have you!

College of Charleston is not only in beautiful, downtown Charleston, but it is also surrounded by the finest beaches, delicious food, and was voted most beautiful city in Travel and Leisure for the sixth year in a row. I guarantee you will never get bored unless you're not trying hard enough to entertain yourself.

The school itself is not only centered in a great location, but it has all the resources you will need to help you embark on your 4-year journey here. From student tutoring to some of the best professors, the college does everything possible to help you get that degree. It's only a bonus for y'all that the college is mainly female.

For education majors, in particular, the college gets your toes wet and helps you put a foot in the door by your junior year. Not only will you still be learning at The College, but you will also begin teaching in the schools.

As an education major, I am constantly learning about all the problems within the education system. They are so much greater than teachers getting higher pay or schools getting more funding. Internally citizens, particularly in South Carolina, are unable to see what is going on inside the schools themselves. Growing up where a public-school teaching job was competitive, I never realized in some areas, there are unqualified teachers and unsafe learning environments.

In a recent presentation, Minimally Adequate, presented at The College, educators and intern spoke of these problems within the education system in South Carolina. A colleague and former RA of mine, Rodrick, spoke and posed a question to the audience in which the results shocked me.

He asked, "how many of you have had a black, male teacher?" Maybe 10 out of 150 people raised their hand. This is a problem many are blind to, and it's safe to say, I would've questioned why it was such a big issue before listening to Roderick's presentation.

Becoming a teacher is so much greater than making lesson plans and forcing information into our student's heads. Being a teacher is being someone for children to not only learn from but to grow from, both intellectually and socially. Children look up to their role models and want to eventually grow into their role models.

With that being said, we need more black, male educators, and we need them now. Where do we see black males besides in TV shows and movies? And that is great, but what if they don't want to be a movie star or a singer? The more minority educators we have, the more they will influence young black students, to be confident enough to grow into educators themselves. And that is where you are making a greater impact than the average teacher.

So, thank you. Thank you both for being so passionate to educate future students so we can better the lives of all Americans. "Teaching is so rewarding" is a common phrase everyone says, but no one truly believes until they teach.

Yes, teaching is rewarding. We don't do it for the money, clearly, or for the benefits. We solely teach because of our love for children. No one is going to spend 4 years of lesson planning and student teaching if they don't truly want to pursue a career in teaching.

Your excitement on the show, without a doubt, made me cry- happy tears of course. Your enthusiasm showed what kind of teachers you are going to be, and excitement is contagious. Your excitement is what will encourage the students to want to learn. Your smiles beamed all because you got into the school of your choice, to pursue your dream career, which shows your passion for teaching. Smiles in the classroom create a safe learning environment, also making students electrified to learn.

You will be a father figure to those without, and you will make as a great an impact as Victoria Merritt made on you. We are so grateful for you and I am so excited to work with you.

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