I was doing some reflecting the other day. And when you aren’t educated, you do have those moments where you’re thinking to yourself, okay, am I punk’d? I gotta tell you this story, and it is just gonna make you laugh. So before I became a licensed teacher, I was, I would say, in my district, I was the cultural specialist for the African American cultural center in my town. And my main job was to go district-wide, share my cultural experiences, and do multicultural lessons for kindergarten through 12th grade.
I’m doing my business because I’m sharing all my tips and tricks. Ever since I was in the fifth grade, I shared my love of education with others and taught people who don’t look like me that people who look like me are valued in our scene. And there are a plethora of educational lessons that I have created.
Wink, wink, and you can do it in your classroom every day. But I digress. I have to tell you this story about having that teachable moment where I felt like I was being punked. I was doing this lesson; it was a third-grade lesson. And it was a geography lesson. And the title was called, they have cities in Africa.
I showed my third-grade students in this classroom that I was presenting that Africa is modern. Africa has light poles, streets, cars, you know, we kind of had this, Oh, Ah, and Africans, like myself know that to be true. But the sad thing is the majority of Americans still don’t know that. It’s a fact. Yet, in America, people always look at you like they have electricity? I wanted to show these students in my area that, yes, we do exist. I showed my PowerPoint slides of Oh, look at, they even have golf courses over there. Oh, look at they have streetlights and Oh, look at the tall buildings they have.
You know, it’s not just huts and primitive things that we have stereotypes about Africa. I kid you not, I thought I was punked because the teacher in that classroom that day looked at me seriously as a heart attack and said They have cities in Africa? And I looked at her like this, blinking, thinking, trust me. Am I being punked? Is Ashton Kutcher gonna come around and go, “Ha, we got you!” No Ashton Kutcher, and I’m there the only black girl and like a two-mile radius? And these little cherubs looking up at me thinking, Okay, do not panic, do not call this woman out. But then I basically looked at her.
I said, Yes, let me show you that we have cities in Africa. My literal friends sat her down at her desk gave her a political map of Africa like I did with her students, her little third graders. And as soon as I called the city and the country name, I did it like a bingo game. You’ll see more of that on my website of how to do the same lesson that I have titled they have cities in Africa, because of this teacher as my inspiration. And it was like a bingo game. I would say the city name and the country. And this woman had to color that country and write down the city name. So even when our eight-year-olds were in her class, that woman learned something that day. And to me, I thought to myself, yeah, I have to do more.
This is my purpose of keeping sharing with the world. And all of you that yes, we do have cities in Africa. And yes, people live there every day, doing the best they can like we are doing the best possible. Thank you. Thank you, third-grade teacher, you know who you are, and I will keep it locked and key. I hope you learned something that day. Because you taught me more in that time than I feel like I realized coming into your classroom. Signing off again. And yes, there are some moments where you feel like you’re being punked. Just keep it going because your students are watching how you react.