D.L. Hughley Cries Because of His Teacher’s Impact

D. L. Hughley Video Recap:

From Gang Member to TV Star:  The teacher who believed in D.L. Hughley

D.L. Hughley’s teacher appears with him on the show to say that he’s been teaching for 38 years, however while he hasn’t received any major accolades, he knows the impact he has made through D.L. Hughley’s accomplishments.  This is enough for him and more meaningful that any award or recognition.

D.L. Hughley states that once upon a time, his mother bit into an apple, and then told him the apple was rotten–just like he was.  Hughley told his teacher, and his teacher said that it wasn’t right and that he was going to be something.

(This video was taking in conjunction with Soledad O’brien’s interview and her recent project–the CNN series Black In America 2.)


The impact of mentorship is undeniable and no words can express the impact we make by simply standing in front of a class of students every day.  We sometimes spend more time with a child than his or her own parent, and in many ways we are surrogate parents.

As teachers, especially new teachers, we sometimes cannot even begin to fathom the impact our instruction and the time we spend with a child will have.  I know that it did not matter how much someone SAID that I was making an impact, I did not realize this truth until I saw the fruit of my efforts through my own experiences.

Getting a glimpse of that fruit makes you ponder how in the world is it possible that you could have changed a person’s life and how you can do it better and reach more children in the future.

If we are bad teachers, it will affect students and if we are good teachers, it will affect them as well.  One person’s notion of “good” teaching can be another person’s perception of “bad.”

But at the end of the day, its the lives of students that go on to speak and demonstrate the truth about the impact we have made–not test scores and not approval from our superiors or colleagues.

I, like many of you, still keep in touch with some of my students, and in most cases they keep in touch with me.  Social networking sites allow for this respectful and productive mentorship of students beyond the classroom.

As a classroom teacher, I remain as accessible to students as possible.  I let them have an email address that I have created for classroom use.  They also have my cell phone number (and some regulations about when to call or text.)

Many teachers may be hesitant to allow students to get so close to them, but my way of seeing it is this:  Not every student is going to call, but you can bet when one does, they will have really needed you.

D.L. Hughley’s response on the show was moving because it humanizes the job of teaching.  It shows us our true value–priceless–and the limitless possibilities of this profession as we simply touch and leave our mark on a child’s life.

Leave a Comment Starter:  I’m sure Hughley’s moment led you to reflect on a similar moment in your life.  Whether you were on the receiving or giving end of a similar situation, share your moment below.


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