Teaching (Slice of Life: Day 22)

is a job where
expectations are higher than mountains
We play with marionettes
dancing them to the beat of the song.
We must
teach social skills
without a time frame
Planning becomes
a competition of Pinterest visuals
where salaries don’t reflect quality
To test or not to test?
We teach parents how to parent
yet find ourselves
unable to work nurture against nature
Who are we
at the end of the day?
Are we
Or are we
being compared,
feeling unaware,
deep in piles to grade,
hoping it’s all worth it?

I imagine a school
where kids learn
to be better human beings.
Where teachers can be
better human beings.
Where spaces to rest,
reflect and process
are respected.
Where teens get enough sleep at night.
Where students begin exploring
their passions at an early age.
Where high school looks more
like job exploration
and bridges students into college or a career.
Where kids and adults are taught
how to manage emotions.
Where students learn
how to learn.
Where the classroom is a space
of creativity and inspiration.
Where teachers are guides,
not dictators of learning.
Where natural curiosity
is developed and encouraged.
Where the answers to our questions
grow more and more

7 Replies to “Teaching (Slice of Life: Day 22)”

  1. Wow. You’ve captured all that goes into “teaching” so well! The good, the bad and the ugly! I also love how you end on such a positive note and with a wonderful outlook for the future and what “teaching” should be.


  2. What a brave & honest look at one of the hardest jobs there is. Thank you for sharing this poem, and for the work you do with students every day. This line:
    “Where spaces to rest,
    reflect and process
    are respected.”
    I so understand it. I have been creating quiet at the beginning and ending of PDs that I do (and I’m a coach, so I do a lot of PD) and encouraging teachers to do the same in their classrooms (even is someone will be grumpy about “instructional minutes being lost” – ARGH!). This white space is so important to our brains, our hearts, our souls… your poem captured it perfectly. Sending you spaces in the next two days before the weekend. And thanking you again!


  3. I like the duality of this poem. A beautiful reflection on teaching and the schools that we should aspire to create. I hope you’re able to find some pieces of the ideal in your classroom when the “rules” of our system feel constraining.


  4. Classroom work can be so, so hard, in ways that only other teachers can really understand. I love your vision of an ideal school, and want to send my first grader there, rather than to the school he is really in!


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