I’ve been a pupil of Ruth since 2004 and she doesn’t know it. Her actual classroom is where she trades jail cells for books. This is the place where she is changing and saving lives of kids. This year, her and her husband Samuel gave birth to their first child CJ. While she is on her maternity leave, her students ardently await her return. They would send her heartfelt notes like, “ Dear Mrs. Cesar, I wish you were here. It’s no fun without you. You were like the best teacher I ever had. I miss you.” This is a testament of the impact that she is having on her students. A couple of weeks ago, she paid them a surprise visit and boy were the children happy to see her. It was a party. They were elated to see Ms. Ceezah. Seeing that video confirmed that she is one of the best teachers in town. Though I’ve never been in her physical classroom, I’m still a pupil of hers. I’m being influenced by the way she lives. The best teachers, mentors and role models are often the silent ones.
Here goes my virtual questionnaire with Ruth:
- What do you do?
I’m currently a second grade teacher by profession and I’ve been teaching for the last ten years. I’ve also been heavily involved in ministry for the last 15 years and as of recently, I accepted the call to ministry and became a licensed minister.
- What is one thing you would you like the audience to know about you?
I like to LAUGH!!!! Lord Byron says it best: “Always laugh when you can. It’s cheap medicine.” Life is too short not to laugh…I like to make the people laugh around me. It can shift the course of your entire day for the greater. I don’t have a scripture for every situation, I don’t have a philosophical statement for every deep issue…but one thing that has gotten me through some of the toughest times is laughter!
- How do you deal with failures, hardships, judgmental and pessimistic people?I like to label myself as a “practical believer” which simply means that I’ll deal with all of the aforementioned on a consistent basis…I’ve learned to remain prayerful…then WORK (that’s the practical portion). Pessimistic and judgmental? It varies. I clear my immediate surroundings of all negativity… you become the company that you keep! In regards to judgmental people, one must proceed with caution so that you don’t become what you’re labeling. As believers, we have a responsibility to judge righteously according to the word of God. For those outside of the church (non-believers), we have a responsibility to show them error in their ways, give them the gospel, and leave them in God’s hands. Often times, judgmental people don’t know how to do either…so before I become judgmental myself, I try to direct one in the right direction by helping them see where they’ve gone wrong in their judging. If the negativity persists, then I must do what’s necessary in order to remain in a positive mental state, which would include removing myself from such a relationship.
Hardships and failures are a part of life…they happen, but you don’t have to dwell in it. After going through the motions, I make the conscious to rise above and move forward as God leads. When plan B doesn’t work, there are a few more letters that can be targeted on the alphabet…try, try AGAIN!! During these times, a core support system is essential to you moving forward.
- What is the one thing that you would say contributed most to your success?
One thing that has contributed to my success is having a tenacious mindset. Throughout the course of my career and ministry, there has been many times in which this just didn’t go the way I expected to, and those that I wanted to believe in me were the ones who discouraged me the most. During those times, I made it my duty to NEVER give up. I knew that there were people attached to me going ALL the way…so my tenacity was for myself, my family, and those that I would have an impact on in the future.
- What advice would you offer women wanting to be like you and make a difference?
Be confident in who you are and wear it PROUDLY. Confidence truly comes from within…you MUST be happy with who you are in spite of what others may say or think. At the end of the day, their opinions don’t matter!! Be content with yourself as a person and your accomplishments. No comparing to others! Stay in your own lane and go at your OWN pace…once you have that confidence, there’s NOTHING that you won’t be able to do in life!
She is a great teacher inside and outside of her classroom. I’m stronger with her as her life becomes my classroom. Learning how to carve memories and impact people of different walks of life. Make such an impact that your absence is felt.
Here is to a wonderful Motherhood Ruth