I began my teaching career as a transplant to the Memphis community and felt an enormous culture shock. I quickly learned that many of my students needed a lot of support due to the troubling circumstances they faced on a daily basis—Memphis is one of the most violent cities in the United States.
At first I wasn’t sure what difference I could make in this situation. However, over time I learned that to combat the violence my students saw every day I needed to instill love and compassion into their learning experience. I needed to teach them how to care for one another as well as themselves. And I needed to lead by example as a loving, caring, and empathetic teacher.