Why teaching makes me feel like a rebel (with a cause)

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If you've been following me even for a short while you know that I've recently stepped...rather stumbled into the world of teaching filmmaking to kids. You would also know that I NEVER thought that I would be a teacher of anything nor did I want to be a teacher of anything. When I was growing up there was this lame saying going around that went something like this...

"Those who can't do - teach."


Whoever came up with this probably never taught anyone anything but how to be lame.

Okay, probably not.

No need to pick on anyone, Dija. You are, after all, a teacher. You only pick on people to answer questions now.

This past year I started teaching a week-long filmmaking camps to students all the way from 8 to 18 years old. It has been an adventure for sure on so many levels. We just concluded our last session of the year and believe me, it has been an adventure. I have really grown a lot as a person throughout the process. I've been able to push past a lot of fear and accomplish something I NEVER thought that I would be able to do.

While teaching one of the camps I spoke to the kids about the importance of telling their own stories. These particular kids are heroes in my book. They live in situations that aren't easy and yet they are still pushing forward towards their own best dream for themselves. In fact, only weeks after teaching this class two of the students lost loved ones to gun violence. I know how hard it is going to be to move forward but I have every belief that they will...because they're heroes. And heroes deserve to tell their stories.

Unfortunately, the step understanding of filmmaking isn't always readily available.

My goal is to give my students the knowledge to apply to their own innate creativity in order to tell their stories from their own perspective so they can make happen change happen in their communities. 

As a teacher, I get to empower these heroes to push back against what society thinks of them so they can stand up and say what they want to say through the most powerful medium today.


So in a way, selfishly, this feeds the rebellious part of myself. The "power to the people" mind. In a way, I can help start a movement of young storytellers speaking their truth out into the world and inspiring others in the process. So much of the world is using media in a negative way - to marginalize certain people groups, tear people down and perpetuate negativity. Sadly, those in power are still painting minorities in a negative light. It's time to take our power back and tell the stories we want to see told.

Telling your story is a powerful thing. Sharing what God has brought you through is what overcomers do. It can motivate, heal and inspire others in ways that can change lives.

What's more rebellious than that?

If you want to see some of the work my students did over the summer check out our Facebook page.