Mr Garvey, an African American Teacher, announced their topic that day was humility.
Ariana and Sophia sat next to each other, and Joseph sat a few meters behind them. Tiana was in the front seat as always. She had this funny assumption that you were likely to get everything taught firsthand if you sat in front. As she put it, “Where the sound waves were fresh.” Ariana thought it was a funny assumption, but nobody dared to discourage her.
“My parents worked two jobs and some. So you can understand it when I tell you that whatever I have achieved now has not come easy.” He continued.
“There were tears, we cried. There was segregation for people like us. But we never gave up. We strived to work hard and smart and honest. We let our work talk for us.
I remember one particular day when I was working at McDonald’s as a waiter, and my supervisor had gotten the day’s calculation all wrong.
He went on and on about how he could never make a mathematical mistake, but when I picked the sales records that day, I quickly figured out where the error was. I corrected it and went quietly to him, showing him the maths.
I was not looking for any recognition or a gold award. All I wanted was to correct the mistake as quietly as possible. From that day, there was massive respect, and he made sure the staff respected me too.”
As he finished and looked around the class, some looked at him in admiration, emotion showing on their faces.
There were a few hands up waiting for a chance to ask a question.
He smiled. It was obvious that he had rattled their amygdala, the emotional centre of the brain. This was what learning was all about. The fact that the children were showing any emotion was a positive sign that at least his story was getting through.