by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
It is not common to hear of NFL players leaving the league and taking on the role of teacher, but that is exactly what David Bruton of the Denver Broncos did. According to reports from NPR.org he has become “a substitute social studies and math teacher at Jane Chance Elementary School and Miamisburg High School (his alma mater) in Ohio” while the NFL “works through its lockout.”
While in the classroom, Bruton’s presence and interaction with students paints a more positive picture of black sports players than is usually reported by the media. He says, “an athlete is not just a bad guy who happens to have a big checkbook. Some guys have a lot of heart and desire, and stuff that they’re made of [and] are different from what people see.”
Referring to teachers as “the guiding source of youth,” this NFL player takes his new-found leadership position in the classroom seriously. He does not merely teach from behind a podium or desk. He says he goes around the classroom “helping them (students) out individually.” He adds that “you’re constantly using your brain, especially teaching stuff that you — in my position — haven’t done in six years.” Bruton, however, is not one of those substitute teachers who is content to be rusty on material he or she needs to teach. He says, “I [am] definitely in the books, on my iPad looking up how to figure out quadratic equations and finding out angles.” Bruton definitely sounds like the black male teacher desperately needed in the scholastic world. Maybe he will be able to positively impact the lives of at least a few black students and inspire them to do great things.
This is a part of Ayvaunn Penn‘s Black And Making It series. She is also a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.