Wednesday, March 7, 2012
The Art of Answering
With Apologies to Naomi Shihab Nye for my copy change sort of adaptation of her poem "The Art of Disappearing"
When they say
Aren't you over it?
When they start trashing other faculty members
remember how we all need to be met where we are
Think of the stressors teachers are dealing with--loss of a loved one,
too many preps,
the call of common core,
If they say I hate this school,
I can't stand him or her
say why--why don't you try to change that hate?
It’s not that you don’t find the teacher she is speaking of annoying,
the one who sits in her chair yelling at children
or that other teacher griping all the time a demoralizer
or people's weaknesses in your school,
including your own tough to handle.
You’re trying to let go of the hate--and
too important to forget.
Their bright eyes when they get it.
Their excitement they can hardly contain their engagement.
The time a student was excited when she "really" thought
she was going to watch paint dry with you.
The love of learning without ever ceasing.
The reasons we're here.
The reasons we care.
tell them you have copies to make,
papers to grade, a student to talk to,
a new unit to create, a novel to write.
Your work will never be finished.
When a gossipy teacher spots you alone
in the teacher's lounge,
nod happily and become an orange,
brighten her day with inspirational stories
of the reasons your there.
When someone seeks you out
and you can find no table to hide under,
no copy machine to hide behind,
tell them all the good things
about your school.
Walk around being that bright happy orange.
Share the thoughts of the good you see around you,
knowing your school's future depends on it.
Maybe she will catch up or catch on,
And not drop a ton of morale killing bricks
taking you down with her,
to the slumps of teaching.
Then, maybe she will get over it
or leave for good.
My literary muse reading her poem: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc20u2_naomi-shihab-nye-the-art-of-disappe_creation