When I tell people I teach in Oak Cliff, I am frequently met with the same response. “You’re so brave,” they say. Occasionally they will add some variation of, “It must be so tough to teach those kids.”
It is an infuriating response. These are children whom I love, and this person who has never met them or heard a single story about them already assumes they are tough to teach, difficult to reach, and easy to label. And—amidst these kids’ impossibility—I am a brave soul for choosing to teach them.