Sitting In My Personal Space

Getting ready for the school year,

planning lessons,

rearranging books and files,

adjusting to a new physical classroom.

 

I wanted to complain tonight,

my room still needs desk,

35 kids coming in a week,

no ac, the temp was 110 F.

 

I sat out in the hall,

parent and student open house,

lots of people walking through,

new construction, ceilings missing tiles.

 

I joked how I was too exhausted,

the heat, couldn’t touch my room,

decided until tomorrow to rearrange,

as tonight I would surely break a sweat.

 

We have a beautiful new space,

expanding the student opportunities,

new carpet, walls, designs all meant

to enhance the students’ education.

 

The space isn’t complete,

I need desks in my room,

I haven’t got any a.c.

no wireless, and vacant walls.

 

I went home tonight exhausted,

and then suddenly it all became real,

I no longer cared about my classroom,

I watched the news tonight in Houston.

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On People, Love, and executive orders …

I am thinking about my Muslim students tonight. I am thinking about my Latino, Mexican, African American, Somali, Hispanic, Russian, Asian & White students tonight. I am imagining the confusion in their minds this evening and this weekend as they realize their lives have been measured rather than given the freedoms they would like to believe exist for them as citizens of the United States. I am imagining my students who choose not to stand for the Pledge, and coming to terms with the reality of their decision. I am understanding frustration and fear.

I understand a lot of the misgivings that are going through their minds, and I can be empathetic to their struggle. I look in the eyes of the children in my classroom, and I see innocence and hope and faith turning toward a bitter, resentment that fuels the certain fear in their mind as they think about their families and cultural roots being slapped with restriction and discriminatory hypocrisy.

I can hope and pray that our political system recognizes the impulsivity of ‘executive order’ mania that has overwhelmed our first eight days under this ‘reign’ of power. I want to respect the office, but I keep seeing my students in the classroom, and right now those anxieties are what I will pay attention to in the coming weeks and months and years.

I’m ready to stand in line and protest this derision that has only begun to separate itself further from the essential work that has strengthened our civil liberties for decades, that in one full sweep has ignited a fear in the minds of many. I can only hope that our society will continue to focus on one concept that could, that needs, that can only begin the healing process.

That concept is love.

I am conscious of the mosaic of love that exists in our nation and will only believe we continue to recognize hope over fear. I will not be silent.

 

Why Do We Teach?

We measure our lives for the children,

whether we advocate

whether we understand

whether we accept

whether we gratify

whether we acknowledge

our own defeatist frame of mind

while trying to change lives along the way.

~

I faced an obstacle today, one that turned out

represented a state of mind,

a clear example of the human condition,

the reason I stand in a classroom everyday.

~

I watched as stubborn pride evolved into humility,

I listened as pain turned slowly toward humor,

even a chuckle that powdered the room,

an energy suggested we can return again,

to where it is we once stood,

that place we felt secure,

an opportunity,

a new door, that when respect

steps through with confidence,

becomes the road forward.

~

I faced an obstacle today, one that turned out

represented a state of mind,

a clear example of the human condition,

the reason I stand in a classroom everyday.

~

Could we step back and breathe,

might our lives find solace,

once the dust becomes an afterthought,

the cleansing has begun,

we might see truth

beyond our own selfish arrogance

lies in the eyes,

those are the needs of a teacher.

We Cannot Choose

Search the horizon,

acknowledge the occasional bump,

maybe a blemish,

a stained reality screaming aloud.

Pause to breathe,

yet don’t step away,

keep your eye on obligation,

imagine the pearl in the rough awakening,

striving and helpless,

until time graced innocence

accentuates grief’s consequence.

Well ahead there exists a euphoric sunrise,

perhaps grayed with callous indecision

today, tomorrow, throughout,

a very near future –

yet know you’re holding a key,

you might respond accordingly,

to a beautiful opportunity.

Be the teacher,

please.

Our Charges Return

Streaming in waves, in smiles and raves,

the children are arriving this morning,

we will welcome all of you with open arms,

readied our rooms, and ironed our ties,

the days ahead are only meant for you.

innocent eyes, and worrisome nights,

children of our halls, determined and right.

~

I stepped into the constant motion

noticed them all with emotion,

I realized how much I’d missed every face,

how excited I was by the new,

I understood that this special place,

held a bargain for me to offer solace,

to those that came through the halls today.

~

We begin the task, forever in progress,

the idea of moving our pages along,

the free-spirit nature of every child,

is our responsibility to maintain, to ideal.

Walk inside the classroom, tap a pencil

look around the space to see a set of eyes,

then know that each set is willing the same.

~

To a teacher on the first day of school, hello,

to a student in return, welcome to your life.

Who Do We Serve?

I open my curtains and the light shatters the room with brilliance,

such is the life of a teacher on opening day of the school year.

Fresh minds invade the quiet peace of a marble castle

only to gradually tear down the mortar slivered throughout walls

of academic prowess. These are our children, these are their needs,

and we are licensed to bring them to the next level.

I haven’t cashed out yet, so allow me a story please.

I like to be loved, liked, thought of as a good person,

I usually count on that to battle the voices in my head.

While the days go by I will encounter eager minds,

the students that will live our lives over again tomorrow.

I wish their happiness,

i wish their dreams to explode with much success,

I need to certainly understand my life as I stand here

is designed for them if that is the legacy I choose.

So feel the brilliant rays take over the room,

here we are together on a journey for the year.

Let’s realize goodness together, and let’s hope my hope

is the offer of support, guidance and exemplar notes ahead.

3rd Desk From The Wall

desk

I sit down alone here,

my desk,

my refuge for the hour,

no one can touch me here

oh there might be eyes,

occasional grunts,

perhaps even a wad of paper,

beyond that I have a teacher

knows I sit here

I sit in the 3rd desk from the wall

every day until yesterday.

~

I stopped going to that class,

the desk spoke to me,

the wood burned with spite

a ruthless act of cowardice

I wasn’t able to go near the

3rd desk from the wall,

my name, it is my name embedded in the wood,

the teacher who doesn’t know who I am

except my name

with the words underneath.

~

I sit in the 3rd desk from the wall,

forever burned into my memory

are the lies and deceit

of my peers.

~

Picture found on Tumblr