The Kirkwood Call

A teacher that looks like me

Kelly Cochran

Kelly Cochran

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  I have been going to KHS for three years now, and for me finding a black teacher is like winning the lottery, especially if they teach a class you like. Now hear me out, white teachers bring a lot of things to the table, but as a black student when I sit in class I always feel a divide. I have been lucky enough to win the lottery once at KHS. When I first got to KHS a class I took with Mr. Nixon, a business teacher who taught both Startup and Personal Finance. I cannot explain how much of a relief it was knowing that out of all of my classes where I’m the only person of color sitting in the room, I wasn’t alone anymore. I would finally have a teacher that looked like me.

  We sometimes forget how important it is for minority representation in schools. Sometimes the students don’t see what they are missing out on when they don’t have a teacher of color. Even some of my friends who have been in the district since first grade didn’t realize the lack of minority teachers and how it affected their until it was brought to their attention. Of course we still can rise to our fullest potential without a teacher that looks like us, but it takes longer to gain the trust needed with a teacher because they don’t really understand what struggles you go through as a black student in a predominantly white school. Having a teacher of another race can show our minority students that they have people who understand how they feel and give them perspective on the way life is for them and how to deal with problems a white teacher may not have had to deal with or that affects them directly, like when when a death happens in the black community. And also for our white students to learn about different cultures and understand different heritage like why African-Americans celebrate Kwanzaa or even feel the need to protest injustice the way that we do  .

  I have had a lot of great teachers throughout my school career and I do believe that every teacher has something to offer to every student no matter the color. But out of all of my teachers, Mr. Nixon will always be the one to have made the most difference in my life. I want every student t have the connection with a teacher like the one I had with Mr.Nixon. The conversations I have had with him and how he could empathize with me about how I feel living in the world as a black child going to a predominately white school. He could also tell me stories that related to my life experiences. He gave me different outlooks on how to be proud of my blackness and hold my head high when I feel that the world is weighing me down because of the color of my skin. And that’s something that a white teacher just can’t give a black student.

About the Writer
Sha'Diya Tomlin, opinions writer
Interests:  My favorite artists are NoName (she’s real) and Drake. I love poetry and to read. Favorite food:Bread. Favorite quote:“Freedom is no fear.” Nina Simone What does the 100th year of The Call mean to you?:It means so much to me. To be apart of something so special that helps me learn how to be...
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