Reading is a powerful act.
We tell kids this all day long. We tell teachers too, and parents, and administrators, and anyone who will listen to us as we shout from the rooftops, “Read! It will change you!” Reading (and listening) to books changes us in profound, and often unexpected, ways. I’ve experienced this, yet again, while reading (and listening to) Cornelius Minor’s book, We Got This!
I walked away from this book inspired to become the kind of thoughtful, caring, super smart, strong, inclusive, sometimes rebellious, child-centered, “all in” teacher that Cornelius exemplifies. As I listened to and read this book, I found myself constantly yelling out, “Yes!” or “Of course!” or “That’s SO right!” And then I’d pause and think,
“Do I do that? Would I do that? Can I do that?”
This book has re-energized me to be a better teacher and a better human. It’s just what I needed during these winter months when, half-way through the school year, I sometimes start to lose energy, and I sometimes start to lose hope. I sometimes feel that the systems we work within create limitations that keep us from doing our best work and reaching all of our students, but when Cornelius says things like, “It is possible to take the parameters that we’ve been given and, within those parameters, create art that is both beautiful and proudly defiant.” I am energized to keep going. When he reminds us that, “We do not teach for what is. We teach for what can be.” I’m back at it, full guns!
Thank you, Cornelius Minor, for helping me through the mid-year doldrums, and catapulting me forward to be a better teacher, a better human, and to work harder to make the world a better place for all, especially our children.