Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sisterlocks at G.W.Carver Academy

Yesterday I heard the coolest thing while I was substitute teaching in my 8th grade Math/Algebra class at G.W. Carver Academy. It is a 2006-07 Professional Development and Magnet School that focuses on Science and Technology through a NASA partnership here in Waco. One of my students (Hispanic young man) was clarifying to another student (Black young lady) about my "Sisterlocks." It was so funny because it caught me off guard. The conversation always comes up with them about what I would do if I decided to no longer want them and secondly, what they are. He was so smooth in how he told the girl about my "Sisterlocks". I've educated enough of them to the point where they are proud that they know what to call my hair "style". I sometimes clip my retightening tool on to the back of my hair and that always becomes a conversational piece. "Miss, what's that white thing hanging on your hair?" They are always so intrigued. I usually send them either to this blog, my fotki or my website. They sign my guestbook when they visit Maryee's Place which always warms my heart because I know they will be inspired when they visit. I'm always like, "Click on the Teens link. That just reminds me, I need to update that page since school has begun.

I'm finding out that the more they see me, the more comfortable they will be around "locked" haired folks. Of course kids at this age are usual very curious and uninhibited. My sister subs at the same school and there's another substitute who has natural dreadlocks, so between the three of us, they've seen a healthy dose of natural hair. It's sad to say that the number of black teachers there is scarce, but when we do show up, we try and reach, connect with and engage with all of the students. I'm happy to be a light to educate and stimulate the desire for our youngens' to love their natural selves. I think they don't choose natural because there's not enough of it around and no one to answer questions they may have. It's braids, perms and lot's a twig tails. You'd have to live here to know what I'm talking about.

Here's the ethnic breakdown of the student population at Carver Academy:
African-American: 41.3%
Hispanic: 48.7%
White: 9.2%
Other: .8%

I will be teaching at Carver until the holidays because the teacher I'm subbing for is on maternity leave. She had fraternal twins. Also, in case I didn't mention it, I decided to go ahead and get certified in Generalist 4-8 through the Teacher Alternative Certification Program through McLennan Community College, where I earned my Associate of Arts in 92'. I'm taking the content class right now to help in preparation for passing the State Exam. It's costing a pretty penny, so I'm always looking for creative ways to pay the bill, since they don't offer scholarships or grants to folks who want to get certified to teach who already have four year degrees. Bummer, huh? Anywho, that's also motivating me to use my God-given talents to get my hustle on. Pray for a sista and wish me well! Pray for all of our students in schools everywhere that they value education (especially free) enough to take full advantage of it.

10 comments:

Brenda said...

Mayree

First, thanks for leaving such wonderful comments on my Fotki page. While I've been locked for 6 years, I only discovered all the blogs and Lockitup in Feb 06. I've learned so much more from all of you!

Second, it's great to see you in the trenches educating our youth and helping to raise their self esteem. From a mom with 2 kids in elementary school - Keep up the good work. Teachers don't get nearly enough of the praise (or pay) they should and I make it my business to ensure that I work with my kids' teachers as a team. I really appreciate dedicated people like you and your sister!

Brenda

Goodnapps said...

That's so precious. Your educational efforts are paying off in more ways than one. How fabulous. Best wishes on the exam.

Valenciajaz said...

Hi Maryee, I met u & your sis at the March DFW gathering. I moved from Texas last month so I don't know if I'll ever get the opportunity to do the gathering again. Anywho, your hair is looking goooood! I'm 6 month into my SL journey. Hopin my will look as good as yours when they fully mature. I also in education and since you mentioned Alternative Certification, I got my start the same way. You may want to check into a program that will let you go thru their AC program and get paid a regular teacher salary at the same time. I went thru Region X and I got a beginning teacher salary with benefits while working on my certification. I know with subbing ya money can get funny so I hope the advice helps.

Maryee said...

Brenda,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. It's so good to know that the word is getting out more and more about natural hair and especially Sisterlocks. I saved you as a fotki friend so I'll be back to visit from time to time. I appreciate the kind words concerning me teaching and education. I'll be linking your fotki to my blog so the kids can check out you and your daughter's beautiful locks. Hopefully if I'm ever in the Philly area, we'll be able to catch up!! Blessings to you!! ((Hugs))

Hey Ms. T,

Thanks for the well wishes on my exam. I'll keep ya'll posted. I get more and more excited at the possibilities in education. I thank God for the gift and the calling. Blessings!!!

Valenciajaz,

So glad to have met you in Dallas on that RAINY DAY!!! I'm glad we made it out. We had so much fun. Congrats on your 6 month anniversary!! I know your locks are already the bomb!! Each stage is a celebration in its own right. About the ATC. I was going to go through Region 12, but the classes were on days that didn't work with my schedule. I found out since I'm taking the content course right now that I can (provided I pass the exam) work in the spring as a paid teacher (with benefits), but I believe it will be probationary. The subs were fussing because the teachers got a raise this year in Texas, but the subs didn't. What's up with that??? :-) I subbed over 100 times last year alone (20 out of 32 schools in the district). I know it's all gonna work out, so it's all good!!! Thanks so much and please keep in touch!! Blessings and Peace to you!!

Sister-in-Locks said...

This is wonderful. I am so glad to get good new teachers in the system especially in math and science. I always wanted to be one.

Teachers are my heroes.

Maryee said...

Thanks SIL for your kind comments. Teachers who are in the game for the right reasons are my heros as well. These days they wear many, many hats...Mama, Daddy, Pastor, Counselor, Mentor, Coach, and friend! God bless all teachers!!

Cluizel said...

Oh...but I am so slow. Why did I just realize the Sisterlocks tool was in your hair...guess you can tell I don't do my own hair yet. :)

Good Luck on your exam!

Maryee said...

Thanks Michelle! That was the last picture I took with my camera before it was lost/stolen. I remembered I had my retightening tool clipped to my locks. Gotta go do some studying! Take care!!

Detra said...

Wooo hooo look at you girlfriend! I too am returning to school after a looooonnnnggg time off! I'm sending prayers and strength your way to make it through. But you will...your a beautiful strong sistah! Congrats on your decision to go back to school!

Maryee said...

Thanks Detra! Most days are better than others. It has been nice learning new things and growing as a person. Wishing you the best in your return to school as well.