Jamie Mayes, AOE

Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Sweet Liberty

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 3:16 am

Sweet Liberty.

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Sweet Liberty

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2013 at 3:03 am

poet4

My brain moves faster than my fingers as I struggle

To accurately depict the images that run through my mind

Carefully carelessly I free my soul through lines unimaginable

Unmatchable, untouchable, unforeseeable, inconceivable

To those who understand not the passion that lies within

For it requires that I sacrifice of myself to give to my pen relentlessly

In efforts to seek a freer me for a freer you when truth is in visual proof

Be not dismayed nor afraid of the enchanting enlightenment experience you may face

When you face the truth about life’s ups n downs n happiness n frowns

And letting go of hurt and accepting unfortunate pain as mechanisms that

Allow growth, paths that require a trodden journey in order to be

A better you for a better me, a better us for a better them

Click, delete, click, save.

Brush, erase, scribble, remove.

For there is no perfection in writing or in living

Only mess ups, fix ups, change ups, and come ups.

My Obligation to Education

In Uncategorized on January 16, 2013 at 12:09 am

teach

I was but a high school senior when I realized the value of a great teacher. I had many of them. They stayed after school to help me direct plays, gave me rides home from meetings, and committed extra hours to help me redeem the only C I ever saw on my report card, because they cared about my education just as much as I did. My educators took me on trips to conventions and opened my mind to a world that I honestly never imagined existed. As I made my final walk across the stage of DeRidder High School, I made a mental pledge to become the best citizen I could out of respect for the many people who had invested in me, especially my teachers. In essence, they played a valuable role in the person I am today.

Yet, I still did not quite understand the benefit of great teachers until I spent the day in a classroom as a college student. I was invited to share my poetry and do a workshop with one of my friends when I was a junior in college. She taught in a low income neighborhood in mid-city Baton Rouge and was desperately seeking a way to inspire her group of students. It was in her classroom that the role of a teacher became ever more important. As I watched the children, who seemed to beg to be released from their harsh realities of the hood, I realized that their success was ultimately placed in my hands. Yes, their parents were responsible for discipline and ensuring that they attended school and behaved in an orderly fashioned, but teachers were indebted with the task of providing the knowledge and skills needed for them to function in society. I wanted to be a part of the mission, but how would I handle it? Better yet, was I equipped to fully accept such a demanding task? If I chose to accept the role as an educator, I was obligated to perform to my maximum ability.

There were several ways I could function as a quality educator. I could spend most of the time assigning insignificant worksheets to fill time and make it seem that I was really being a taskmaster. I could be tedious on paper and careless in class by allowing students to do anything but be productive. There was another option. I could take the role as teacher seriously, and commit my heart fully to the education of future citizens of the world.  As I watched the joy in the faces of my new classroom friends, I felt obligated to return the tremendous favor that had been granted to me only a few years before. I had to become a teacher, not because I adored children and sought the glory of the profession, but because I wanted to give to others what had been given to me- an opportunity. I had to educate on the same level as the many of the awesome teachers I’d known.

Three years later when I made my first appearance in the classroom as a teacher, I was as eager as a young pup that has been let out of his cage after a long day. I was ready to educate young minds. Being a teacher would prove to be more of a daunting task than I imagine, for I had underestimated the experiences that young people live through and miscalculated the extremity of changing time. Nonetheless, I pressed forward, eager to remain loyal to my commitment to make a difference. The extremity of my desires caused me to study educational theories in depth, seek ways to connect to students through learning, and search for ways to implement classic education techniques with modern twists. Never had I felt so challenged in my life and never had I felt so obligated either. My first group of students would change my life. They would make me see the power of believing in a different light. They would help me to understand my responsibility to be proactive and to stand independently for the benefit of those who need me.

Long were the nights that I spent grading papers and designing projects. Even longer were the days we spent making baskets for the community, marching against drug abuse, and preparing for our first conference.  Ironically, I never felt tired, instead I felt renewed with each day. Amidst struggles to understand how to balance discipline and care, I found ways to still reach students educationally and intellectually. In learning to understand my students, I learned to understand so much about myself.

I am not just a teacher; I am a trendsetter, a mold breaker, a damage repairer, a role model, an influence, a comfort zone, a believer, an achiever, a godparent, a burden sharer, a confidant, a protector, and a commitment keeper. While there were many in the educational field who took their oath lightly, I could not imagine a day that I did not bring my full heart to the classroom. For I was, I had to be the difference.    

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