Dear Mrs. Street,
I still remember the first day I walked into your class. You had it all set up nice and neat. It was obvious you took time to prepare it for lost kids like me. Your room was the most attractive one around. It was very unique.
What got me even more excited was having all of my homies in the same room. At first, I thought it was a coincidence how we all ended up in the same class but then I thought, “We are blessed to have a teacher with pizazz.”
Everyone loved you and wanted to be in your class. Like a loving mother, you took all of them, even if they weren’t on your roster. Somehow, you had plenty of knowledge, money and resources to go around. The kids who didn’t belong in your room always got in trouble for stopping by, but they didn’t care. They couldn’t get enough of you, they weren’t going anywhere.
You never missed a day of work. I still remember you standing at the door every morning I showed up to class. No one could teach like you. It was as if you were an angel sent by God. You always knew exactly what to say, especially since my dad was never around and my mom was too busy doing her own thing.
Slowly, I noticed our class getting smaller and smaller. My friends were there one day and gone the next. It would make me sad but you always knew what to say. You would let me know that everything was going to be okay.
The next year, I was fortunate enough to have your husband as my first male teacher. He was very similar to you, just stricter. We weren’t allowed to talk much or get out of our seats, but he always made us feel like we were important—like we were a part of something great.
Somehow, more of my homies came up missing that year too, especially towards the end. I couldn’t figure out what was happening but then it all made sense—you both were taking them from me.
No matter how many gifts we gave you two for your birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, it still wasn’t enough. For the first time in our lives, we did all of our assignments, even our homework. I had never been so excited about school and neither had my friends. Then, it dawned on me, that work wasn’t helping us get ahead, it was making you look good; making you look even more attractive.
You tricked us. You made us think we could be rich. You made us think that if we followed your lessons, everyone would respect us. That wasn’t true though.
Luckily, I figured it out before it was too late. My friends weren’t as fortunate, though. Nah, their A’s and B’s in your class got them a seat in prison or an early grave.
I’m on to better things now and will no longer come to see you. However, I will make sure that other parents know to get their child’s schedule changed, if they see your name next to Homeroom.
See, you only care about yourself and that’s not cool. I only wish my homies had figured that out sooner. They would have never dropped out of school.
Moral of the Story: You can love “The Streets” all you want, but “The Streets” will never love you back.
Rodney Jordan is a young black male teacher in Northern Virginia. Jordan is also the author of two books (Get your copies today!):
Tired of Being Black https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009EPUJM6/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1