The most valuable lesson that I learnt during Dr. Berry’s class was that It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s inside that really counts and matter. He is not the kind of teacher that you see regularly at the university wearing formal shirts and pants, short hair and a watch on one arm. No, he is just one of a kind. His unique style allows him to stick out from most people not only in the university, but also in the whole city in my opinion. When you see a tall guy walking down the boulevard of the UPB, rocking a fantastic afro, with a huge scarf around his neck and bunch of bracelets, you immediately know that he is Dr. Berry. He doesn’t care what people think about him, he prefers to stay truth to himself rather than pleasing other people. He is the embodiment of confidence, and that’s why his classes had been an amazing adventure for me.
Undoubtedly, assisting to his classes is an enriching experience because, more than teaching you about theory, he shows us strategies that we, as teachers in training, may use during our classes and, beyond that, Dr. Berry also helps us with our insecurities and worries. For example, in one of his tasks, we performed a slam poem for the rest of the class, and most of us talked about the struggles that we face on daily basis. This was a very touching moment for me and my classmates because most of us have been together since first semester and we are very good friends, and with activities like this one, we are able to solidify even more our friendship.
On the other hand, Dr. Berry also makes me question about the type of teacher that I aspire to be when I graduate. He made me think that being teachers not only means that we will be in charge of promoting ideas in students; encouraging their creativity, imagination, provide them with tools so that they know how to function in today’s societies, and guide them to taking good decisions, we also have to take into account the social difficulties and struggles the students face every day, and that affect their performance during classes.
For this, and many more reasons is why I believed that every student at UPB should have the opportunity to assist to one of Dr. Berry’s classes, because I promise you that you are not going to be the same after you leave. His jokes, his pop culture references during class and the way he perform them makes you think you are not really in class, but an extra-dimensional environment were being safe and having fun is what’s important. I always remember that people said that you will never remember all the good teacher taught you, but you will always remember how they made you feel, and I will never forget him or his classes. I hope I get to be like him with my students one day.