Cynthia Bass

As educators, it is important to pause periodically and reflect on our most significant contributions and accomplishments in education. Upon reflection, we are reminded why we became educators and if we have wavered in our commitment to our students and our profession.  Unlike most teachers, I have been teaching since I was a little girl in elementary school.  We lived down the street from West Gordon Elementary, so I walked to and from school.  At the end of the school year, I would raid the dumpsters for all the worksheets teachers discarded on the last day of school.  Being in the dumpster was education heaven. I would sit there and sort through all the papers (I still love papers). Once I collected all I could carry, I took the worksheets home with me; found cardboard boxes to use as desks; set-up a makeshift classroom in my backyard; and taught the neighborhood kids all summer, mimicking what I had learned from the best teachers all year.  Unbeknownst to those teachers, I was watching and listening closely, emulating the educators who positively impacted my life at such an early age.  Consequently, my approach to teaching is the same.  Since my students are watching and listening, I must prepare the next generation of teachers, no matter what profession they choose.  Therefore, my most significant contributions and accomplishments in education are simple:  the ability to build an abundance of trusting relationships with students, trusting relationships that enable students to become teachers, young teachers with lessons on success, set-backs, perseverance, people, pain, culture, diversity, etc. As a young girl, I used discarded worksheets; they use life experiences, and often in real time---with unlimited re-runs thanks to social media.  Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated and/or derailed many life experiences for them, making my role as an educator more significant.

As educators, however, all our roles are more significant as we work to mitigate the social and academic damage COVID-19 will leave behind.  Therefore, as a perspective member in the Alamo Area Alliance of Black School Educators (AAABSE), I am willing to serve as my campus contact person.  We need all hands on-deck, especially those of black and brown hues.  I will recruit and educate.  As a Black educator from Georgia, currently residing in Texas, we need AAABSE to become a household name in the greater San Antonio area, especially with our black and brown families.  They need to know who we are and what we stand for in education. If chosen as the AAABSE Teacher of the Year, any recommendations and/or contributions I make will be based on the organization collectively identifying needs and meeting those needs for the students we serve (campus, district, community, state, nation).  As a new member, implementation of any ideas or programs will adhere to the guidelines and procedures established by AAABSE.  I am ready to get busy as a member and/or Teacher of the Year.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve.