I recently read an interesting article that quoted Dr. Boyce Watkins (an author, economist, political analyst and social commentator) as saying “Only a fool allows those who hate him to educate his children.”
…I was blown away…
How is it that something so simple is so easily overlooked?
His comments lead me down a past that even today I still find hurtful. I think of how at times my budding confidence was so easily crushed by teachers and professors, who in my gut, I knew were “not in my corner.”
My high school and college years were spent hundreds of miles away from home; away from the watchful and concerned eye of my parents. Their only relationship with my instructors were filtered through my evening rants, tears and the resulting grades that sent me mixed signals. And while they remained concerned all the while, society had assured them that any private school education with a high price tag was the favored option.
Now don’t misconstrue my point here. I don’t consider my parents to be foolish people. In an effort to provide me with the best educational opportunities they propelled me into a world that appeared safe and nurturing, but was virtually unknown to them. As a result, some of the instructors that were entrusted with my self-esteem, confidence and ambition, were in hindsight dismissive and destructive.
In some instances I charge the maltreatment to race and class and in some instances I charge it to the “Amina Effect,” (because sometimes I’m a pill). Still, when one thinks of the lasting effects that a teacher can have on impressionable pupils, its a relationship and a trust that a parent should not take lightly or at face value.
And so I implore you Mommas and Papas out there to really take the time to get to know the teachers that are influencing your kids (big and small). Are their values, methods and desired outcome for your kids in-line with yours?