December 2021 TeamMates of the Month: I Can Be Myself
Adam is a sixth grade teacher at Scott Middle School. Dayshaun is an eighth grader at Pound. Though for an hour on Thursdays, they are simply TeamMates who put their school and personal stresses aside and enjoy each other’s company.
“I don’t think of Dayshaun as a student; to me, he’s more of a friend because we get to just hang out,” explained Adam. “Teaching, you get to build relationships every day but this is a different level of a relationship because you get to just spend time together,” explained Adam. “I’m not focused on teaching, it’s more being able to play games and get to know each other.”
“Usually in certain groups, you have to change or fit in, but I can just be myself around him which I like a lot,” said Dayshaun. “He doesn’t judge, and we just get along really well, so we’re able to talk about basically anything.”
While they occasionally discuss school, Dayshaun enjoys channeling his focus into the task at hand, which has recently been surviving and escaping in the Forbidden Desert game. Though they are TeamMates officially through their mentor and mentee friendship, they also act as “teammates” in these strategic missions they enjoy solving together.
“It’s relieving because you just forget about all your worries for an hour,” said Dayshaun. While the games are fun, his favorite part of their four years as TeamMates has been “getting to know each other, definitely.”
In doing so, Adam has observed Dayshaun’s individual strengths and passions. “He’s super kind, polite, and easy to talk to,” listed Adam. “Dayshaun has great character and is mature beyond his age. Plus, he has some sweet fashion, he knows what’s ‘in.’”
“I’m pretty big into clothing,” Dayshaun confirmed. In his business class, he is creating a custom apparel website. “For me, clothing is a really big way to bring out yourself, so I’m really passionate about that. The stages of making your own website and thinking of ways to let people wear your ideas is really cool to me.”
As for Adam’s fashion, Dayshaun rates it “pretty good.” He starts, “It’s not like…”
“It’s not like Dayshaun’s level,” laughs Adam.
“It’s not like the ordinary teacher,” Dayshaun finishes.
“Hey, I’ll take it!”
Next school year, the pair will meet at Southeast High School, where Dayshaun plans to join the track team and pursue specialized elective courses to match his interests. He looks forward to continuing to visit Adam, that is, if they can ever escape the desert.