Front and center of tomorrow's society – learn smarter, teach harder
Today will break my streak of 31 straight years (17 years of my schooling, and 14 teaching) of experiencing the exhilarating rush of the first day of school. Now, I did get the pleasure of walking my son to school on the first day, but I will not be welcoming my list of fresh students into my classroom. I deliberately chose to take myself out of the classroom loop – but I am still in the struggle.
For the past fourteen years, I have had the ultimate privilege of feeding off the vibrant energy of the youth I taught. When I was in high school, I thought I was resolute in my desire to become a physician, but, in my summer entering my college freshman year, my career choice drastically changed. After reading “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”, Jesus’ (upon him be peace) response to the Pharisees in Mark 2:17, and the Salinsky version of the “River Story”, I decided I wanted to become an educator. I entered the profession with the yearn to empower our struggling youth with the useful knowledge and confidence to help break the cycles of mental poverty and depression. I pray that my efforts proved helpful and effective. Any successes and triumphs that resulted from my efforts come from The Most High and any faults and failures belong to me and me alone.
To my many students in Austin, Abu Dhabi, and DeSoto: thank you for the heated philosophical debates, creative theatrical plays, insightful discussions, epic Age of Empires wars, energetic karaoke jam sessions, and other edutaining things we did during our quest for knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I hope you learned just as much as I did in our classes. I learned so much about my soul and why I am on this Earth through our daily interactions during the last fourteen years of my academic service. You all allowed me to get paid for doing something I absolutely love.
I know many of my colleagues nationwide have made passionate posts about leaving the profession for myriad reasons – I agree with a vast majority of their grievances. On my part, I will spare a diatribe against the system and focus on viable solutions to travel upstream to help prevent other teachers from drowning and to save the profession that I love. With that, I present my book, “The Sun Tzu Classroom” which is like Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” but for teachers. I wrote it with my children, my students, and my fellow teachers at the forefront of my mind.
My students, in our U.S. history, English, and speech classes, I taught you guys about taking risks and following your heart. Now it is my turn to step out on a limb and make it happen with my entrepreneurial ventures.
Thank you from all the regions of my heart,
Mr. Hayes aka Abu Zyed aka Hayes
Put me anywhere on God’s green Earth, I’ll triple my worth…. Sean Carter