Why Do I Teach?

by thom amundsen

Atlanta Schools Cheating

I am wondering tonight,

about the educators,

those that spend their lives,

standing in classrooms,

studying behaviors,

recognizing rigor,

all of them human beings,

sacrificing their lives to help the children.

~

Where did we lose sight,

when our world began to suggest,

rather than teach, we might just,

give a test.

When did we forget,

to look in their eyes.

How remarkable a time, that a teacher,

an educator feel compelled to

write outside the margin.

What rubric did we cast aside

to fight for originality.

~

I honestly do love a good test,

especially the one answered with passion.

Though more exciting is when I see the student

that beautiful child,

get it.

When she stands before an audience of her peers,

and suggests,

I get it,

followed by a desire to help us understand …

why?

~

In Atlanta,

they are wondering why,

just exactly that,

they have years of education aligned together,

one critical mistake –

no one can defend their actions,

they did the ultimate,

they were the academics who were slapped

by high minded and ethical legislation

who suggested, with bold disregard

(for the children)

education cheated …

~

Our society contains the stockades

builds the platform,

readies the space,

holds the lock and key,

creates the havoc

in order to question that motivation.

Rather than explore the possibilities,

with a slam of the gavel,

they define, decide, clarify, grade, mark up, curve,

a … state … of … grace.

~

I wonder when I teach when I see

human beings lose sight.

If I simply rely on the paper that defines their soul.

Wait, there’s a mandate on definition.

Instead, we react, we respond to society’s ills,

because rather than care about the child

we are inclined to measure

that worthiness, that integrity, that generalized.

rubric on society.

Clearly, we live by the power of the Man,

and not, until we cry out loud,

not in the eyes of the growing child.

~

When did we forget?

How did we lose sight of our goals,

what objective did we ignore,

Or did we set any at all.

Tonight, tomorrow, next hour,

I am curious, once more,

‘where will all the children go?’

… why do I teach?

8 Comments to “Why Do I Teach?”

  1. Enjoyed the read great job. Thanks for stopping by my page Anita

  2. Thom, a very interesting ‘essay’ of a poem . . . I appreciated it because it made me realize the extraordinary commitment teachers make, not ‘to their vocation’, but to those they give their lives to teach . . . Thank you . . .

  3. Being a teacher.. this speaks volumes to me. Also, serves as great motivation, so thank you

  4. To teach is to be a mentor. Where did we lose it? Good write.

  5. Thank you Rellick – always appreciated.

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