Coffee, Teach, Whine….That’s what we do. All day long. You may say, “Ross, what do you mean?”
Well, coffee is….. a symbol of connection. A connection that enables the person to appreciate the concept of “you” and “me”, the discovery of “others”. Coffee bridges the gap between two people, or among individuals. Drinking coffee then becomes an event, an opportunity to communicate your thoughts to others. Coffee has created thinkers and brought out the artists and scientists in people by boosting their creativity. Coffee has helped individuals connect with their inner being and discover their true potential. Others have sorted out their personal issues over a cup of coffee, or even made them reflect on their true purpose in life. Coffee represents the connection of what we love, which brings us to that connection of what we truly love…teaching.
Teaching, that’s what I live for. Teaching is literally what I was created to do. I took a class once that asked me to write a “Statement of Teaching”. The process was one that really made me realize why I became a part of such an honorable profession. I live and teach on inspiration. I look hard for things that might inspire me. With that said, I also hope to be an inspiration to students, parents, and other educators. I hope every day of my life I make a young person who has been told they will never make it – Believe they can. I was fortunate to have so many forces work in my behalf. A lot of them were teachers with vastly different backgrounds from mine. Mrs. Miles – who made me want to be an artist, Mrs. Jackson – who told me I was the next Langston Hughes, Coach Cox – who made me believe I could run through a brick wall, Mrs. Page – who gave me the desire to hear and play notes that strengthened the fiber of my culture; they all put something in me I desire to give the children daily. I am a teacher simply because I was “taught” to care more by others who didn’t have to. They made me understand it mattered not what my last name was or where I lived. It only mattered that I was a future success. Now, I have painted murals for schools and universities. I have written poetry for numerous people and organizations. I have played sports internationally. My love for music drives me to learn more and more. All these things are because people who didn’t have to made a choice to care. A close friend gave me a quote that has padded the backbone of my life’s mission statement.
“Care more than others think is wise.
Risk more than others think is safe.
Dream more than others think is practical.
Expect more than others think is possible.”- Cadet Maxim
Teaching is not just a role for me. It is my life. Clear and direct, my philosophy is to “Live the Classroom”. I will not be afraid to fail as long as I try. I show my humanity. I will attempt to always be prepared. I will teach in the classroom, and in the hallway, and the neighborhood, and the street corner. I will care more than others think is wise, and expect more than others think is possible.
Then comes the whine….or is this misspelled? (Laugh)
The normal definition says that to whine is a whimper or cry. However, there is another form of this word that is viewed as a process of transformation; a result of breaking wholes into parts and integrating parts into wholes. A time of sharing things that are important to you with those that sincerely understand how you feel and what you are passionate about. More than likely, if you are taking the time to read this, I am sure you are passionate about (and whine from time to time about) the same things we do. We love our kids. We love everything about them. We love the parents that let them stay up too late and watch shows they shouldn’t. We love the communities that at times may be filled with crime or violence. We love all they come with and work diligently to assure they are on a trajectory to achieve more than they ever imagined or dreamed. We love that we are building leaders that will go out and change the world.
So, “Coffee, Teach, Whine” is not only what we do. It is who we are. We hope you share this journey with us.