THERESA ODOM

BACK TO STORIES

Why did you become an educator?

I had a very caring teacher in the 6th grade who exposed me to quality instruction in spite of my socio-economic status.

What do you love about your school?

I love that I’m able to be myself when I’m teaching. I’m very active and love creating things with the children.

Why is it important that lower income children can attend schools of choice?

I was a child who came from a lower income area. My mother saw the deficiency in the quality of education that the schools in my area offered, and wanted more. She saw how smart I was, and was forced to search elsewhere. It’s important to focus on providing quality education for all children no matter where they are living, If not, you’re perpetuating stereotypes.

Anything else you’d like to add? Submissions of at least 300 words are more likely to be published.

I love children and genuinely love teaching. My preference is preschool, but I can relate to all ages of children. When I teach children I always keep in mind that they are just that, “children.” I focus on their development, skill level, and current abilities. By doing this I am proactive in knowing how to teach them in a way that will allow them to grasp, and retain, the information I am giving them. I leave all personal bias, and prejudices at the door once I enter my classroom.

I’m grateful to my 6th grade teacher for helping me while I was in school. She had no idea that at this point in my life I would still remember and value her teachings. She taught me beyond the classroom and set me on the path I’m on today. I want all children who are growing up in an underserved or unrecognized area to know that your current situation does not dictate your future. And that they can change their future for the better no matter the circumstances. There is help out there, and educators like myself who know exactly what they are feeling, and going through.

I applaud the American Federation for Children on wanting to provide what is a “right” for all children. Focusing on children is how we can better provide for children. Meeting them where they are in order to get them where they should be on their educational path should be one of the main goals of educators. Providing low income families with information, resources, activities, and supplies will help them realize that they deserve better. They don’t behave to stay in their current situation and just take what someone is giving.

We as educators have to teach caregivers how to be empowered in spite of their socio-economic status. Children look up to the adults in their lives as a model for life and learning. My mother would often tell me,”Empower the head and the rest will follow.” Those words were a staple in my home, and my mother wouldn’t accept anything less. My mantra is, “I as a teacher have to assume that the one I am teaching does not possess the knowledge, therefore, it is up to me to supply the knowledge.” I do it daily and love it daily. Thank you for your time and the opportunity to voice my opinion.

BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE
BECOME A VOICE FOR CHOICE