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Friday, April 19, 2024

Young African American woman who grew up homeless excels in life, wins Teacher of the Year Award in the US

A young African American woman named Lakeisha Brown who grew up homeless has fought hard to survive her challenges. She won the Teacher of the Year award in Washington in the United States.

Lakeisha Brown is a teacher at Lafayette Elementary School, Washington D.C in the United States. She was awarded the D.C. Public Schools Teacher of the Year for treating her students equally.

Lakeisha had a very tough childhood growing up. She was bullied, and teased at school and was also stereotyped by her teachers for being Black.“They counted me out. They didn’t put a lot of focus on African Americans, and that we could go to college or push us to take AP classes,” she told WJLA.

She mentioned that she had to take care of her dying mother who had AIDS at the young age of 9 which affected her studies and her teachers did not give her the chance or try to understand what she was facing.

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“Being up the night before and taking care of a sick parent. My teachers were always mad that I was late. They didn’t take the time to give me a moment,” she said. Lakeisha stated that she lost her mother eventually which rendered her homeless but she was able to survive.

I grew up in a household where my mom was dying of AIDS. People who were your friends were no longer allowed to be your friends and we became that family. I was teased, and I was bullied, and I struggled,” she said.

Lakeisha mentioned that she made up her mind to become a teacher after she experienced what it was like to be judged by her teachers when she was growing up. ”I told myself I want to be a teacher that counts every child, who thinks that everyone can make it,” she said.

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Lakeisha has been teaching elementary school students for four years and she sees to it that her students do not experience what she experienced when she was in school.

“My number one goal is for my kids to know before we even start our day that they can get a hug first. If they are late, I’m not going to rush them in. I’m going to embrace them because you never know what happened before they got there,” she said.

She stated that she uses a traditional way of teaching making sure her students are free and ready to learn without fear of being sidelined. 

“Some of the children who are shy and reserved don’t have their voices heard. So I started selecting them just to make sure that they are also coming out of their shell as well,” she said.

Lakeisha mentioned that students do weather reports, reading, and even dancing. She added that she made the learning experience more enjoyable for all of her students.

“I allow the classroom to flow in the eyes of my student and now in my adult eyes. They have so much energy and talent,” she said. “I like coming in to see Ms. Brown. She lets us have fun, but she keeps us getting our brains smarter,” Emily one of her students said.

 

 

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