Because a young girl told me I couldn’t be one–because boys were doctors and girls were nurses.
Because students will still call me “Mrs.”
Because I still call myself “teacher.”
Because I write poems–books of them!–but I am afraid to introduce myself, a poet.
Because I am still expecting to be told I am not worthy, and because there is a young girl watching me–learning me.
Because I want to be intentional about what I teach her.
Because I am still trying to feel safe enough to embody “me” myself.
And because hearing you affirm it–naming me–“Professor/Dr.”–helps me remember who I am, what I’ve earned, and who she can be, too.