I was born in Trinidad West Indies and raised up in a Roman Catholic home as part of an extended family, which is very normal in the Caribbean. Being the youngest of three siblings, I had a very sheltered life because both of my parents were in law enforcement. Although my parents were able to provide childcare for us, we prefer to stay with our maternal grandparents in order to be closer to our cousins who were around our age. Whatever my grandmother “Ma Elaine” said to do my parents listened. She was someone in the village that anyone could come to if they had a problem.
My parents believed that one of the most important things in life was to have well educated children. At the age of four I followed suit and attended the same nursery school as everyone in my family did. It was a private school that would prepare me for kindergarten. At the elementary level you would normally attend a school that was affiliated with your religion. I attended Mucurapo Girls Roman Catholic School located in another village because my parents wanted to ensure I had the best possible education in the public school system and where discipline was definitely a factor. Although the class sizes were pretty big, the teacher somehow knew everyone and we got the special help if we needed it. Because discipline played a major role both spiritually and naturally pray was the first thing you did before your classes begun and even before lunch. I once got in trouble for not following the teacher’s instruction when she told the class to stand for pray.
The educational system is different in Trinidad I had to take an examination called the Common Entrance Examination “CEC”in order to be placed in a secondary school. My parents paid for extra tutoring with one of the best teachers at my elementary school. You have three chances to take this exam and you get to choose the school you would like to attend. On my first try I was successful although I had just lost my grandmother and my mother and father separated. At the age of 12 I attended Saint James Government Secondary School in the same village as my elementary school. Unlike my elementary school secondary school was not affiliated with ones religion. It did not really matter to me because I already had friends who were not Roman Catholic what mattered was I had never attended a school with boys before. I was lucky because some of my cousins were already going to that school. After my first year at secondary school my grades were unacceptable which caused my father to take full custody of me because he said without my grandmother there to supervise me I need to be with him. My grades in the second year rose to competent and I had the privilege of spending my summers in the United States where my mother had migrated to in order to keep this privilege I had to maintain my grades. At the end of my third year in secondary school I had to choose my major I was torn because I loved Spanish, Science and Accounting; however, in order to choose these classes I would have to give up typing which did not matter to me. I majored in business my favorite classes were math and accounting. My downfall was I did not see the need to study every day I think I was going through a rebellious stage of my life. At the end of my fifth year I had to take another exam Caribbean Examination Council Exam “CXC”. I anxiously awaited the results upon receiving the results I felt so over ecstatic because I passed all seven subject with competent grades. My parents were so proud; however, my father said just imagine what your grades would have been if you had spend more time studying.
My first love was accounting, I always thought I would become an accountant and I started to take courses in accounting to pursue my dream but after spending countless hours with children I fell in love with them and yearned to become a teacher. I can still remember the majority of my teacher’s names from Kindergarten up to Twelfth grade. Some of them had a dramatic influence on me they helped to mold me into the person I am today.
In 1994, I migrated to Silver Spring Maryland to be with my mother. I moved to New York to be closer to my cousin and soon found myself off track instead of going to school which was the original plan I was partying and hanging out. At the age of 21 after a bad relationship I gave my life to the lord and things begun to change for the better. I supported myself by becoming a childcare provider and fell even more in love with children because a child is always honest about their feelings.
I made a promise to my parents before they died to return to school in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a teacher. My first step was to do my GED which I passed on my first attempt without any preparation classes. My husband encouraged me to go to school before we started our family and I enrolled at Medgar Evers College as a freshman in the fall semester of 2009. I am indeed enthusiastic about learning everything I can so I can one day pass the knowledge I received to the students whose life I am going to have an effect on. Truly, the motto of MEC- Education Department “EDUCATE to LIBERATE” has great meaning to me because it was what my parents instilled in me from a child.
Education is much easier today because everything could be done from home if you choose to. Unlike when I went to school, the uses of computers were not as prominent. If I needed information for a project, I would have to look it up in an encyclopedia. I no longer have to undergo the banking method of Paulo Freire which was the primary style of teaching when I attended school. I am now free to express myself and I do not have to take everything the teacher says and commit it to memory. I am no longer an empty bank account waiting for my professor to make a deposit.
Because of some of the things I went through in my life it has made me a stronger better person, I believe that everyone should have someone they could trust and depend on in their times of need. As an aspiring teacher I am willing to go the extra mile for my students, I would try not only to be the one who they can come to with a problem whether it may be academically or an everyday life situation. I would true to be their voice, a role model to them and everything they need in order for them to succeed. I want to be remembered like how I remember my teachers even those who corrected me when I was wrong. I could look back today and say I would not change anything about any of my teachers and that is the legacy I would like to leave.
I believe that a winner never quits and a loser never tried hard enough. I am committed to myself to fulfill the dream of becoming a teacher and I am going to do whatever it takes to make my dream come true. There can never be too many good teachers to be role models for our future but you can always find too many bad influences that try to take our future’s future away.