There is a state in the United States that has many cultural connections to my origin. The correlations between Texas and Hawaii are incredible. Texas and Hawaii were at one time their own nations. Texas displaced many citizens after the revolutionary war, and the same was done on the Hawaiian Islands. This caused a lot of hurt amongst its people. I will never forget the stories shared by my mother and father on how her ancestors were forced to move into caves outside of Balmorhea, Texas because they were stripped of their property rights because of the classification of Tejanos. It did not matter that they had fought off Mescalero Apaches to eek a living of their land.
Because of this, growing up in Texas, I was always aware of the cultural divide. My parents had no chance of public education because of the color of their skin. They were children of first-generation immigrants. Therefore, their voice and their parent’s voice were not honestly genuinely heard amongst the people.
This makes many people uncomfortable, but a fact is a fact. I grew up hearing the stories of oppression from my parents. At an early age, I was keenly aware of their misgivings about having a life that would indeed open up doors to them.
I knew from an early age that I would always have to speak, read, think, and prepare at a higher level than any of my peers. My father and mother told me I must always be willing to be genuinely prepared in many facets of life to make a difference in many lives.
In my family home, that was at the core of our existence. A contribution to our world to make it better is to make our world productive and safe for all citizens. It was never about ourselves, but the word we were living in. As I’ve grown older, my teaching world collapsed until I came to Hawaii. Hawaii has shown me a different perspective on teaching and learning.
The situation I was enduring in Texas took me to the lowest point of my life. Why? This is because not everyone truly believes in contributing to the greater good of our world. It’s not all about equity. Once again, it’s not about all people but a certain few.
In Hawaii, I have found that people see the worth of a person in their willingness to contribute to the greater good of our community. This is a refreshing attitude, and it brings a lot of value to my life. Yes, I’m sorry, but I do live for the betterment of my students.
Many people might say that this is an unbalanced approach to living. However, a teacher is always willing to place their children before anything else in their lives. I am grateful for the leadership, faculty, and staff at my new school because my heart is slowly healing from the treatment I received in the 2017-2018 school year. It brings me great pride to see that I’m connecting genuinely with people that care about the growth of our students.
Wait!! That doesn’t mean I didn’t see it in the last four years of my academic teaching career because I did! However, many of these teachers had to stay quiet due to the wrath of the administration and other leaders in charge. When you allow a bully and their staff to trample over a certain few, that is a few too many. There should never be favorites that rule the land of a school environment. A school should be a safe place to share ideas and knowledge. The sharing should be done in a collaborative manner. If people are excited and interrupt each other, its because they are passionate in a meeting that is about sharing thinking, it should not be used to ”write” you up.
When you’re at a school with many different ethnicities, your literature should be based on multicultural literature. You cannot expect students to connect to just European-American poets. When you force teachers to follow this philosophy, you are saying that Langston Hughes and Sandra Cisneros do not belong in your lessons. Can we support antiquated thinking of this nature? The same holds true with connections to our administrators.
There is no room for nepotism. If you’ve had a connection with leadership since your childhood, you should not have the right to go into an administrator’s office and get others in trouble. That is precisely what happened to me. The minute that my peer, who has a connection to my previous administrator since he was five years old, went into my administrator’s office, ”he” came to me and said, ”Administration will call you into their office because I told them I could no longer work in this grade level because of you.”
The following year the peer did not return until the midyear of our school year. ”He” had made arrangements to slide into their last position before leaving the school. The saddest part was that he spent six months in my classroom. He grumbled and complained the entire way through our time together.
He would run into the AP’S OFFICE AS soon as our lessons were done, so he could give a report on my performance. That would be enough for most people. However, that person told me that ”HE” had gone to admin and complained about our literacy coach.
Our literacy coach was then demoted to third grade. ”HE,” told me directly that our male AP had asked him, ” If we demote the literacy coach and the present school counselor, will you stay?”
Our school counselor has continuously been humiliated and belittled since his arrival to the campus. It’s a travesty to watch him sit during staff meetings and collectively ignored by the CMT. This wonderful person consoles himself by staying in constant prayer. This person remains at the school because he is committed to the population of the school. Without role models of different ethnicity, the students cannot see someone just like themselves achieving. The school librarian, a member of the CMT, led the charge against the staff member. I can say this because it was said directly to me. The leader of the school also asked me my opinion about the counselor. My response was that she worked as late as I did and he was committed to the children. Isn’t that what matters?
One of the things that weighed heaviest in my heart was when I earned the title of TOY for my school, the AP spoke to me about how ”he” was merely driven by jealousy. You can only imagine what I began to think when he then began to praise him and tell us he was returning to school.
The person in charge of our level pretended to be giddy about the return of her nemesis. The leader spent many hours bad mouthing him. The in charge even went as far as to state that he was forced into starting a family. The entire time when this person was gone, our in-charge person spoke so badly about him and the fact that he took credit for work that he never actually did for a program that they both co-chaired.
Now it all lies in the hands of the people in charge. Are you willing to stand up for the teachers, or are you going to allow the web of misconception to spin out of control?