A Little Bit about Cherryl Knowles

Cherrolyn N. (Connally) Knowles, born in Detroit, Michigan October 19, she is the fourth child of seven children.  Cherryl (my professional name because so many people butcher my given name) pronounced (Cher-ra lyn) was educated in the Detroit Public School system by whom she considers to be great educators, teachers, mentors, role models, and innovators of their time. Cherryl graduated from Central Michigan University in 1994 with Bachelors of science in Biology.  After visiting her roommates mothers fifth grade class, she decided to become and teacher and forgo the dream of being a Orthodontist.  After graduating from CMU I enrolled into the Post Master’s of Education Program at the University of Detroit Mercy, where I earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and a Certification in Secondary Science in Chemistry and Biology (1999).   I began a teaching career in 1994 as an ESRP for Detroit Public School System at Detroit Central High School.  Upon entering the building it quickly reminded her of the movie "Lean on Me" old dark and sometimes full of drama. Nevertheless, after teaching 16 years in a building so full of history, victories and defeats as well as one that is architecturally beautiful,  it was time to say bon au revoir  (good bye).

During my teaching career at Central High School and my current school the famous Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School, I have learned that we as teachers, educators, instructors must Love what we do, Laugh at the end of the day and Live to do it all again tomorrow (if we are blessed).  There is no other profession in my opinion that requires one person to be so many people in one (except a mom) and guess what we are her/him (or dad).  Each day I aspire to encourage, create, prompt and ignite my students to become different today than they were yesterday, to impact by contact. As the infamous  Eminem “Slim Shady” said,  Look, if you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip away?  Learning is an opportunity, and to many times students let it slip away.   We can’t let that happen, many are called but few have the tenacity to stay.   

Some of the most memorable moments of teaching are filled with student success as well as my own growth.  I remember setting up my facebook page for the first time via the prompting of a few former students.  The weeks that followed were filled with hundreds of friend request from former students and their friends.  I was floored, the request were not impressive it was the comments made by former students that impressed me, some dating back 10 years.  I distinctly remember a young man emailed me and said, “thank you for the conversation you had with me the day I came to your class high under the influence of drugs, you took the time to talk with me and encourage me to stop doing what I was doing.  As a result I own my own heating and cooling business, I have a family and I am proud to say that was the last day I got high, thank you.”  That floored me and made me remember why I became a teacher, not only for the ah ha moments in the class but the impact by contact.  Most people think that we teach because we only want students to get the content knowledge but that’s only part of it, after teaching for almost 18 years, I know its not just about the content it’s also about the character, the compassion, the commitment, the choices, the consistency and the content.  I owe many thanks to those whom have crossed my path from my former teachers like Nadine Tibbs-Stallworth, Eva Hammie to my former co-worker and mentors Deloris Wynne and Senta Ray Conely they impact by contact.