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To Teach or to Have an opinion?

attentive young black groupmates using laptop while preparing for exams with anonymous teacher

The difference between being a teacher and having an opinion is those of us who teach come from an informed place while some opinions come from a place of hurt and are misdirected anger. There is nothing wrong with expressing anger, but as an observer always know which is which. I always say, listen to people who tell you what to do, not people who tell you what not to do all the time. That’s how a lot of people are raised, a bunch of don’ts; “don’t do this, don’t do that”, and the child is left thinking, “well what do you want me to do?” I have made it clear that I appreciate my dad for all he told me to do. He always told me to be a great writer, “be a lawyer – because you’re a great writer”. He even put me in writing classes as a child. Every skill he saw I had, he helped me explore it. although he told me what not to do, he always emphasized, and still does to this day, what I should do.

As a people, we need more of what to do. A lot of people who put themselves out there as leaders, motivational speakers, etc., still come from a place of “don’t do”. Although I don’t go to church anymore, I remember 1 thing a pastor said, he said we have to replace what we don’t want to do with what we want to do, or else we’ll just be stuck doing what we don’t want to do. Even as I evaluate the fact that I don’t go to church anymore, the point wasn’t to just enter the world aimlessly, I researched and replaced my belief with one more suitable for me, and it yields results; that is why I am comfortable with my faith, as I call it, “the faith of the ancestors”. I knew as an African, that our spirituality and connection to God – whatever name we called her/him by, was most important. I guided myself, now I guide others to do the same for themselves; put their faith into practice, whatever it is. A true teacher will guide you on what to do. That is why my blog posts have suggestions on what to do, after I get done explaining why the former behavior is not beneficial. I have worked as a teacher, case manager, and recruiter, amongst other things; these roles are all based on helping people make better decisions. I took the approach of understanding who is in front of me, not concerned about their past as much as their future. In my eyes, everyone is transformable, so that is how I changed mindsets. I often helped people understand their own power, I wasn’t their leader as much as I was there to help them lead themselves, but I understood the responsibility I had to at least see it through.

2 people can read the same information, and come up with 2 different analysis, that debate is a well informed debate. A person who has not yet understood the information at all, having not read it, will not be equipped to debate with the person who has at least read the knowledge. I say that because, analysis usually involves some type of resolve. There are people who can state information, and that’s it, but you are left wondering what to do with it. Again, as a teacher, it is a responsibility; teach, transform, resolve. People must leave you better than they came.

2 thoughts on “To Teach or to Have an opinion?

  1. As my mom is a teacher it is a very special skill. We never had a lot of money but real teachers do it for the love of helping someone and the pride they get from watching others succeed. Everyone is different as you mentioned two people can interpret information different ways. A good teacher always finds a strategy to help someone learn. Great Post!

    1. Thanks so much! Aww that’s lovely your mom is a teacher. Yes, we do it for helping others!!!

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