7 Reasons I’m trying to teach during the pandemic with Multiple Sclerosis

A short explanation of my attempts to teach DESPITE MS, UC, Spondylosis and coronavirus.

*mean mug* You can’t talk me out of it. I’m trying to go back into the classroom. During the WORST pandemic of the millennium. Hurricane season on the horizon. Diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and several other health conditions. But, Daaaaaaawg, I’m ready to go back. Nobody else in my circle understands but I gotta do this.

YES. šŸ™„ I’ll be safe AF.

YES. *rolls eyes so hard he almost falls asleep* I will be careful. Not just for me and MY family but for errrrrrrybody else too. I’ll wear DA SHIT out of my mask and model to this generation how you POSED to look good and take it serious. Sanitizer? *winks* You KNOW I’ll be on that whether the district and school can afford it or not. I’m rewarding kids from the jump for wearing their mask. Every day will have an “exit quiz” and wearing your mask grants the student extra points. *shrugs* Maaaaaan, I will take the coronavirus and safety precautions serious.

Nope, MY kids are NOT going back to school. If I get hired, they will stay home. Shooooooot, my eldest graduated so she’ll have duties and responsibilities related to ensuring that the others did their stuff. I’ll slap my own kids with plenty of rewards for their ACTIVE participation in homework and school assignments.

I know my purpose

Number ONE reason that I’m going back is that I know my purpose now. Waaaaay back before MS, I didn’t know what my purpose was. I always read the quotes, saved the pins and memes, used the word in poetry or stories but I never really knew what mine was. Purpose is what you would do for free, regardless of pay. You breathe it, live it and live for it. My purpose is helping people. It’s why I was a good ass teacher when I was a teacher. I didn’t run out of energy teaching because I was helping people, students of the school and people of the community. That energy allowed me to operate like an energizer bunny and I still have it. MS can drag me down BUT when you’re pursing a purpose, your energy begins so much higher, deeper and stronger. Outside the classroom, I’ve been a realtor, insurance agent, credit repair professional, independent tutor and substitute teacher. I’ve served on local school boards as a community representative and district-approved member. I didn’t OVERstand before but know I do. Helping people is what I do, who I am and will do again.

I know my purpose…

Purpose is what you would do regardless of pay. Passion is what we were meant to do, what we do naturally, where we find happiness. My passion lies in storytelling. Nope, I don’t want to be the star of the show but I definitely enjoy sharing people’s experiences, perspectives, history, culture and such. That had to be the central theme behind my decision to teach Social Studies/History; literally, I get to tell stories. As a teacher, I would grind through hours of “extra” research on historical figures, places, events, etc. because I NEEDED the story to connect with my students. My students come from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds and connecting stories with each was a monumental task that I absolutely loved.

I’ve ALWAYS believed the revolution begins in the classroom.

The public school classroom is where changes must be implemented immediately. I’ve always felt this way and even wrote about it for my Master’s thesis. What do I mean? Weeeeeell, what I’m trying to say is ‘It’s gotta be easier to open the minds/hearts of the NEXT generation than change the minds/hearts of the current generation.‘ I want to be a part of this “opening”. I want to help usher in the next wave of instruction tailored/cultured/designed to fit the needs of the student. I’ve got ideas and know I can be of service. I know I can make a difference. Not ALL my ideas will be met with open arms or even consideration but I want to help.

I GOTTA do my part. #SaluteMyAssOff

My greatest attribute is the ability to communicate with others. Now, in my current reincarnation as wheelchair-bound, I’ve sincerely learned a true appreciation and respect for people with disabilities. I understand the fear and plight of those facing chronic illness and permanent, debilitating pain. Doing my part lies in the representation of those people in schools and community plannings. Doing my part is ensuring that the needs of People of Color are heard and addressed. Doing my part is being the bridge by which our students may walk towards progressive education and relevant lessons.

The message is BLM, Black Lives Matter, but it is NOT the only message. From the Washington Football Team of 2020 and sports to the almost extinction of Natives to the poverty of Haiti and the neglect of clean water in Flint, Michigan, these stories must be told. These discussions must begin, continue and grow. I have Multiple Sclerosis so I won’t be marching, holding a flag, screaming in unified protest for the greater good. Nope, nada, nathan, nothing on any of that. I CAN do my part by standing on the front lines of classrooms and schools, with others, pushing for change through teaching and inclusion of all those messages.

I live an area where the white people actually patrol the Sam Houston statue to protect it from being torn down. *blink blink* Nope, I’m not part of tearing anything down but I do want to be part of fixing it. I want to be part of the team addressing race relations, speaking for my community on healing THE community. I believe that my experiences growing up in East Texas provide unique background and substantial insight. I’ve gone to school with open KKK members, kids rocking Confederate gear and teachers that publicly declared their disdain for Black students. I can help because I know the language, culture and prejudices.

Of course, I need the money too. I’m tired of watching the wife handle ALL the responsibility for four kids and a handicapped husband. Sure, ya boi is building a business, writing books, publishing books, promoting a brand and EVENTUALLY, it will all pop. Until then, *sigh* I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. No more borrowing, “holding something”, “when I get better”, dry begging my parents… I want to be useful outside my home and inside the crib, pay some bills, order them something to eat, just buy freaking buy something for them.

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