Urban Education and the Next Generation of Black Teachers
Chapter 6. Senior Year: Certified Teacher
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One day in my office, I was briefly having a conversation with Claresha while another one of my students, Keshawn, was waiting to talk with me. After Claresha left, Keshawn closely watched Claresha leave the office and then said, “Who was THAT, Doc?” This was often the response many men had to Claresha, as she is a dynamic natural beauty. Tall and lanky, she would wear her hair in twists, and she really could pass for Erykah Badu’s baby sister. Often, she would come to class in a colorful, funky, retro outfit that was capped off with bright green Converse sneakers.
Claresha’s creative side would come out in many ways. My colleague, one day, saw her riding a long-board skateboard around campus. He exclaimed, “What Black girl does that?” but it was not surprising to any of us that it was Claresha, as she would often dance to the beat of her own drum. As an avid poet, Claresha would use amazing imagery when she talked or completed papers in class. Her spirit for teaching and her love for English were prevalent within the university classroom. A well-read individual, Claresha would often talk about finding different methods to connect reading to the ninth graders in her urban field experience class.
← 107 | 108 → Claresha was a Secondary Education, English major at Carver University. Originally from a White, middle-class neighborhood in Maryland, Claresha had intentions of being an Afrocentric-based teacher—something she lacked in her schooling experiences.
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