Bernita Bradley was in the fourth grade when she came to recognize the power of great teaching.
Now a parent advocate and blogger who spends her days advocating for quality education in Detroit, Bradley said a great teacher became her “role model” when that teacher changed Bradley’s brother from a kid who was “hopping all over the place” in class to one who realized his own potential.
The boy had been the smart kid who was doing other students’ work, but not his own. That changed when the teacher asked him to stay after school to grade other students’ papers.
“I would watch my brother grade other students’ work and then he would get excited when he didn’t know it and come over to the teacher and ask the teacher ‘I don’t know this part.’ And she would work with him on it and then he’d go back and grade and it turned him into this student who sat in the classroom,” Bradley recalled.
That teacher, she said, “really became my first official role model as a teacher just to see that she changed my brother from being this person who was all over the place to being focused.”
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Bradley shared this memory in a story booth set up outside the School Days storytelling event that was sponsored by Chalkbeat and the Secret Society of Twisted Storytellers last month at the Charles H. Wright Museum.
The event brought educators, parents and a student together to tell their stories on stage at the Wright but the event also invited other Detroiters to share their stories in a booth set up by Chalkbeat and the Skillman Foundation. (Skillman also supports Chalkbeat. Learn more about our funding here.)
If you have a story to tell — or know someone who does — please let us know.
Watch Bradley’s full story here: