Furthering my education has always been a goal of mine. It continues to be, and it’s one of the reasons why I set myself on this journey called graduate school. I don’t think I can recall which teacher or professor put me on this path of learning, but it is one that I have stayed on for some time now. And I think it is one that everyone at some point in their lives chooses to either follow or put aside. It’s true that you never stop learning, and I’m not sure where I would be without my mentors in education.
Where would any of us be without that one teacher or professor, tutor, or friend who ignited that fiery passion to learn any and everything?
Even though it’s talked about constantly on the news, I’m still in disbelief that an overwhelming number of teachers across the country are leaving their profession. I don’t think I can blame them; the state of education is changing so drastically and the support that teachers need in order to be successful is eroding.
Histories, like my own, are also being omitted and altered daily. Books are continuing to be banned for illogical and shameful reasons, and systemic inequality continues to impact our education system. It goes without saying that this is why students in urban education systems cannot always reach their true potential. It is why teachers sometimes lack what is necessary for their classrooms and why there is such a low teacher turnout across the country.
I never considered a career in education, and the thought of teaching never crossed my mind, but because of the vast changes that continue to happen, I feel like I need to do something to right the wrongs that continue to play out in front of me. What I like about Arcadia is its diversity, and what I appreciated learning about the university when I attended my first residency is its commitment to combating anti-Black racism, because, in the end, I think that’s where the knowledge gap stems from. In his presidential message in 2020, Arcadia President Ajay Nair wrote that reimagining Arcadia means “…to transform into reality the vision of our campus communities as caring and diverse centers of learning, where all students are afforded equal access to opportunities to grow, learn, and contribute to the greater good.” As I move further into my educational journey and gather more skills, I realize that my responsibility is to help those who wish to learn but lack the means to do so. To ensure that despite a person’s background, religion, or creed, they can advance just as much as the next person in whatever they wish.