Brooklyn Born MC Words aka Wordsworth, freestyle lyricist, MTV series producer and all round multi talented person talks to Culture is Free about his passion to mentor.
Like a true superhero, Wordsworth teaches TV, film, and music production to middle school students in Florida. Drawing on his experiences of being an artist and touring, he has adapted and created a curriculum to educate the next generation.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I was going to teach because my daughter’s grades were suffering because of the lack of adequate substitute teachers. Once I went to register, I was informed that I would be valuable in the district as a positive reflection for minorities, especially young black males. It took me less than 3 seconds to change my life’s direction. That was the biggest calling I’ve had, to help change the outlook of the youth.
How would your students describe your style?
I think they would describe my style as balanced. I talk to them about how things will be beneficial to learn and why and then I’m able to relate to them on a pop culture level. Sometimes the fact that I know about what they’re into, it shows them that I care about what they may care about outside of school. You have to find those moments of bonding when you can.
What does it mean to you be a role model?
I think it’s important to be a role model because there aren’t many active rappers that are teachers. The students can say to themselves that it’s okay to be cool and a teacher. They can understand a rapper has many layers to them. As a male role model, it’s extremely important to show that you have alternate routes and backup plans. Entertainment can be your dream from another angle. If not the athlete, be the coach, if not the singer, be the vocal teacher, if not the actor, write the script, find alternatives.
Which is more useful, intelligence or wisdom?
They’re similar, in which being able to make decisions based on projections are very helpful. Many of us fell victim to that being young. You did bad in school because you didn’t see that it may affect a job later. Having these traits will assist in looking down the line, and not to be so caught up in moments of satisfaction, but continuous satisfaction.
How can we help nurture the next generation?
We can help nurture them by being in the classroom and giving them examples of alternatives. I can’t complain about the music or shows if I have the power to contribute and change things. Find your power that can alter something you dislike and provide the example. Inspiration changes generations, no one can read your mind, manifest your book of thoughts so they can read them in reality.