“At my old school I was bad. I would talk back and give attitude to my teachers. But now, that I’m here, I don’t do that.”
I stared back at Markez, the scholar that I tutor, with intention, focusing on what he was sharing.
“Well why do you think you are respectful to everyone in charge at Valiant Cross?”
“You know, I don’t know” he replied, “I think mainly it’s because they respect me, but they also give me reason to respect them. Like, Mr. Doaty, even though he isn’t my teacher, he is always showing us how to behave, how to dress, how to speak to people with respect so that others will respect us too. Like recently, he cut his hair short, and it looks really nice.”
My heart smiled a big grin when I heard such innocent and honest words spoken about such a sweet friend.
This guy is relentless in his consistency with the boys.
Every morning, Jamal or “Mr. Doaty” drives around the neighborhood, picking up the boys for school and in the afternoon he takes them home. He works along side Shane Parks, the teacher over the after school program at Valiant Cross.
He and Shane are like a power house with the boys.
While tutoring you can hear the two of them saying “20 more minutes guys”, “y’all got this”, “keep working hard!”
The two of them always dress to impress, with neck ties and suit jackets. Giving the boys around them even more understanding of professional attire.
They may not notice that they are even sharing those small details with the scholars, but from the outside looking in, it is noticed and highly valued.
Mr. Doaty has shared on multiple occasions with me about his respect and gratitude for Mr. Parks. “I absolutely could not do what I do without his help and effort. He is truly amazing at what he does.”
Mr. Doaty not only invests his time at Valiant Cross, he also works with boys that are in other public schools in the city. Weekly, he makes trips to the schools to do remediation work with the the kids there, doing one on one activity, not only improving their education, but showing them consistent relationships.
“Hey Markez, I heard you like Ninja turtles!” I said one day after talking with Mr. Doaty at work.
Markez grinned, “Mr. Doaty told you that, didn’t he?”
“Yeah, he did!” I replied.
“Mr. Doaty knows everything. It’s like I don’t even have to tell him and he knows. He just gets it, you know? “
Of course he does.
Of course Mr. Doaty gets it.
He is always there, he is always encouraging.
Even in the places where it is challenging to help and mentor young boys, Doaty always shows up.
Listening to the scholars has been a major source in learning about Mr. Doaty and all that he does for them.
He doesn’t come with a bag full of presents and games to play.
He doesn’t have a perfect code to relate to the students he works with.
He just simply has a heart that is unwilling to miss out on the opportunity to help advance these kids to their fullest potential.
He is willing to push through the days that seem mundane or frustrating because he cares for the well being of the students.
Mr. Doaty “gets it” because he lives it.
Thanks, Doaty for all you do, it is noticed, it is valued, and it is completely worth it.