A brief bio including your school and subject area:
Duane Williamson is a native New Yorker and a proud product of the New York City public school system. He currently teaches ELA at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), located in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
His educational background is as follows: dual BA in Literature and Creative Writing and Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton, NYC Teaching Fellows graduate courses at St. John’s University (alternative certification program), and a JD from Syracuse University—College of Law.
He is a husband, a father, and a perpetual student of the human spirit and how to awaken the very best of what it can offer humanity.
Answers to the following questions:
Why did you choose to become a teacher?
I chose the teaching profession because I wanted to meaningfully impact society and help obliterate the achievement gap. It is a vehicle to contribute to humanity in the most intimate and indelible ways, and it is one of the most worthwhile professions on the planet. Also, I am wired to do it, and it would have been a waste of my purpose if I did not pursue a career stop in education.
As a teacher, what matters most to you at the end of the day?
It matters most that I do not become jaded, cynical or hardened to the task, and that I did not hold back from filling a single teachable moment – planned or spontaneous.
What difference do you think being a male teacher of color makes in the lives of NYC youth?
I used to think it made little to no difference, but then I harkened back to Mr. James, my first male teacher of color in a 7th grade, then, junior high school class. I sat up straighter, gleaned more and never wanted to impress a teacher as much as I wanted to impress Mr. James. I think it means the world to a scholar (especially one of color) to see a male teacher of color. A bad one would make a positive impact, not to mention a stellar one.
What would you say to men of color who are thinking about becoming teachers but have not yet made the decision?
“Let’s do lunch.”