Reply To: Teacher Appreciation Week – share your stories

Nathasha Brooks

Hi Everyone,
I have had so many inspirations that made me want to teach. I come from a long line of educators and saw excellent teaching practices early on. One professor in particular was my biggest inspiration. Dr. Bayne-Smith was perhaps the most difficult professor I ever had because she require that we think critically and stretch our mind in ways it had never been stretched before. Mediocrity was not tolerated in her classroom. She gave us assignments that were quite lengthy and tedious and she expected them to be done well. She settled for nothing less. She even suggested that we sleep with our textbook for her course because that was how much we’d read and consult it. Although she worked us hard, she also gave us valuable life lessons that I remember to this day. She always threw them in and told us things we could use beyond her Public Policy class. Her passion for education was evident. She had earned her doctorate and was a tenured professor. She was proud of her accomplishments and told us that we should “reach for the stars” educationally. She also explained to us that we should get as much education as possible because it is something that no one could take away from us and that we should not let gender or race stop us. I looked at her professional life and how successful she was and she became my role model. I began thinking about pursuing a PhD one day and getting as much education as I could. I had never seen a professor that passionate about teaching and inspiring her students to greatness. Dr. Bayne-Smith passed away and she left an indelible mark in the field of education. I feel honored to have studied under her tutelage. To me, she represented what good teaching is all about.