Thursday, October 18, 2012

One True Thing from Beverly Williams: Everybody is Somebody

In 2007, English Language Arts Teacher Beverly Williams was honored with a Boston Educator of the year Award for her work at James Timilty Public Middle School in Roxbury, MA. I have been honored to correspond with Beverly over the past few years regarding writing projects and teaching inspiration. A former student of Ms. Williams has this to share: "By believing in me and holding me to very high expectations, Ms. Williams raised my level of confidence and made me feel that I can achieve great things." I am delighted to share Beverly's ONE TRUE THING today. 

Everybody is Somebody
by Beverly Williams

If we do not teach our children about civic responsibility, we will continually suffer the injuries from insensitive and disingenuous behaviors. The emotional, social and declining psychological health of our children will take us all out of here before global warming.

Social media is overwhelmingly unfolding the message that it is our constitutional right to have freedoms far beyond "establishing domestic tranquility." As an educator, I wish to see the Civics class as I remember back in my day. 

I learned to be a citizen. I developed a social consciousness that said to look out for my fellowman and treat others with respect.  When I prospered I was taught to give back to my community ungrudgingly, not just look for opportunities that advanced my own agenda. I learned there was honor in blue-collar jobs and if people did not go to college, or, become a superstar entertainer, they still were somebody.  

I was taught to be proud of my country and to respect not only my neighbors but the servicemen who fought for my freedoms, and for my president, as well.  Voting wasn't a privilege; it was an obligation. It was my responsibility to make this world a better place to live in.  I don’t think the children of today realize this and I weep for them, and for us.