My Quest To Teach

July 18, 2015

“A World of Poetry: Lunch and Learn with Nikki Giovanni”

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 04:23

Nikki Giovanni and William Jackson
Nikki Giovanni and William Jackson
Parents, Bloggers, Educators, Community Activists, Authors

“A World of Poetry: Lunch and Learn with Nikki Giovanni”
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Father, Educator, Speaker, Mentor, Blogger, Community Activist

Nikki Giovanni’s presentations at the Cummer Museum of Art &
Gardens and later in the day at the Schultz Center was filled with
spunk and intellectual challenges to think outside the box when
teaching children to inspire creativity and transformative ideas for
future careers. Engagement, inspiration, mentoring and building
a relationship are important between teachers their students
and parents.

Ms. Giovanni an educator at Virginia Tech University for over
25 years and an internationally recognized poet and author shared
with the audience of Duval County Public School educators and
administrators that their choice of career is vitally needed, because
of the great influences teachers still have on generations of children
from Pre-K to even higher education.

“If everybody became a poet, the world would be much better.”

Sharing her life experiences, her writings, family upbringing, cultural
relationships that bind us as a community and nation, and even child
rearing adventures; Ms. Giovanni sought to connect with the audience
to paint a poetic picture that education is transformative and continuous.

Referencing current events of the intricate relationship to past histories
of the south and the current political, economic and educational settings
influence on education and applying in the school environment;
influencing the quality of life we seek to obtain and share with future

The audience was entertained by her wit and wisdom, challenged by
her educational task to be better educators for all students, and tasked
as professionals to be the best educators that can be to strengthen
student knowledge and engage students to continue learning as
a lifelong adventure.

Introduced by Francis Driscoll a recognized author located in
Jacksonville, Florida, Ms. Giovanni through the efforts of Director of
Early Childhood Education Sonya McSwain of Duval County Public
Schools and her highly talented team of educational specialists and
the involvement of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Jacksonville Alumnae
by Veronica Tutt, President, Ms. Giovanni shared valuable professional
development best practices and strategies that benefited the attending

Some of Ms. Giovanni’s ideas were culturally sensitive because of
the cultural references and history of the north and south from the
Civil War to Civil Rights and changing historical conflicts of social
struggle, engagement and racial division. The direction was to show
that we must create a society that recognizes past historical situations
but be willing to unify and move forward for the generations that are
to come. Quality education is the direct path to guide all children to
build a better future for everyone. A noteworthy statement from
Ms. Giovanni was her reference to STEAM and that African American
children need to be involved in the quest to explore space. Stating
their contribution (African American children) is important because
of how African Americans of the past contributed to the building of
this nation, so African Americans are vital to all aspects of national

Nikki G at Jacksonville

A quote from Ms. Giovanni shares how we should respect each other
and treat each other with dignity.
“There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked
people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don’t
expect you to save the world I do think it’s not asking too much for you to
love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you
call friend, engage those among you who are visionary and remove from
your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect.”
Nikki Giovanni


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