Great teachers share one common goal the audacity to believe that children can and will go as far as ultimately capturing the mysteries of outer space. This audacity is woven in a memorable motto known as Pride.

Pride…was the common thread that connected my classmates to our teachers. We were regular everyday children driven to succeed but because of countless negative newspaper or media depictions of our small community, we began to ask questions. For instance, the teachers at Bladensburg High School taught us that ‘there are no clear boundaries between education and destiny. Hence, we questioned why local media rated or clumped our middle class community as underachiever because of our zip code. The real world had labeled us failures or generation X. Strong teachers’ were against zip code profiling and embodied school …Pride.

I can talk about countless teachers who demanded that my high school academic experience reflect the freshman class of the University of Maryland ‘ College Park. I can talk about my principal who transitioned from elementary, middle, and high school to ensure or lobby for his kids because we were his Wall Street. I can talk about Snow White, my high school English teacher who demanded excellence on every thesis paper. This was important because it demonstrated educational or professional …Pride.

For me, this particular task was complex and overwhelming. While most individuals can identify one person who demonstrated effective teaching, I am unable to identify one person who wasn’t thought provoking, hands-on, genius, patient or caring throughout my youth. I had an entire school.

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