teaching

The price of the world

A teacher is not your personal team mascot.

A teacher is not your coach. 

A teacher is only and exactly what they need to be to make you what you can be.

 

A teacher does not do what they do to please themselves or you.

A teacher does what they do because they get to give you the entire world, if you will take it.

Your teacher does take something for this gift, though.

Every ounce of knowledge they give to you they will get in return.

And, just as they transfer to you, you must transfer something back to them.

Your experiences will become theirs, and your thoughts will be thought in their heads.

They just want to know what you think.


This is your teachers price.

It is not much, but it is what they want.

They do not work for a paycheck.

They teach because when you change the world, they will have the pleasure of having been part of it.

They are the foundation of change.

The vessels of our past. 

And, whether you like it or not, one of your greatest influences.


A teacher, nothing, and yet so much more.


 


 


 


 


 

 

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

I made this after hearing four Taylor Mali poems. He is great and i highly recommend him. He discusses teaching in his poems, among other things. But this poem is about the price, or bargain if you will, that a teacher makes with every student. I hope you enjoy it.

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A DROP IN THE BUCKET

As I worked with a student today one on one for the last time

I didn’t think about the end of my career, I thought about the climb.

 

I thought about this student and all the others who

Were wonderful to work with, but came with problems too.

 

Sometimes the problems seemed too severe, I was frustrated and appalled

For all my years of schooling it seemed I didn’t learn anything at all.

 

So I decided long ago before my own children were grown

That I would treat my students as if they were my own.

 

I tried to let my students know they mattered...and I cared

Even though so many came with problems that could never be repaired.

 

I wanted my children to be respected and happy at the end of the day

And so I tried to treat my students in exactly the same way.

 

I’ve seen families torn apart as hopes and dreams were shattered

So I wanted my students and their parents to know in my room they really mattered.

 

In somber moments sometimes I wonder sometimes I am afraid

For in the end I’m not quite sure how much of a difference I have made

 

Mother Theresa realized in the present or the past

That what we do is but a drop... in the ocean deep and vast.

 

She also realized in fact on this she would insist

If that drop were not in the ocean, then that drop would be missed.

 

So as I look back on my 39 years if only drops are what I see

 

And those drops made a difference then it’s good enough for me.

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LET THE TEACHERS TEACH

Speaking as a teacher, with retirement just days away 

Here’s my opinion on the state of education in America today.

 

I’ve observed many great teachers and there’s a pattern to their speech

For they believe the problem is...they’re not allowed to teach.

 

The system commandeered their imagination and has hidden their creativity away.

Some, if you can believe it, are being told exactly what to say.

 

Teachers have much to offer but all the time they have invested

Is being wasted as their students now are extremely over-tested.

 

These test I believe are certainly a part of educations sad demise

For they do not test students capacity to think only their ability to memorize.

 

In fact I’ve seen many great teachers who taught a few years then withdrew

Because of all the rules and regulations on what they can and cannot do.

 

Somewhere along the way, and I’m not sure who’s to blame

We’ve forgotten that every student will and cannot learn the same.

 

The solution is a simple one just ask any teacher...for they know

Its nothing new or earth shattering..in fact it was proven long ago.

 

Teachers are trained to do their job, their students...they know how to reach

So keep their class sizes low, the discipline consistent and simply let them teach.

 

When you allow teachers the freedom, to use their imagination, creativity, and heart

They not only transmit knowledge...but it’s wisdom they impart.

 

Give teachers more creative freedom and they will find the link

They’ll stop teaching kids to memorize and teach them how to think.

 

For the key to success in education...if we want our students to evolve

We need to teach them not to memorize but how to problem solve.

 

My teacher friends hope (and I imagine teachers around the country feel the same)

That their students will leave them more well-rounded and wiser than they came

 

So if you want education to improve then this one lesson I beseech

Stop the incessant testing and let your teachers teach.

 

(And one more thing to think about so more teachers don’t walk out the door

 

If you want the best trained teachers...you might have to pay them a little more.)

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Good Night

After a summer of vacation and a full two weeks of work

I decided on a short rhyme...yes the long rhyme I must shirk.

 

If you think your kids are tired from that homework or that quiz

Imagine how exhausted every school staff member is.

 

So you’ll understand why at 6:00 the rest of the world will keep

 

Like many teacher this Friday night...I’m heading off to sleep.

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SIMPLY SPOKEN #20 TEACHING

 SIMPLY SPOKEN #20

      TEACHING

 

Those who have traveled
far in life
need to teach the young
still struggling on their
pathway.

Clasping their tiny hands
holding them tenderly
gladly leading, saying
come child, may I help
you.

Teaching with great
inspiration
leading with humility
setting good examples.

copyright by heather burns

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TEACHING

 
English
French
Italian
 

INSEGNAMENTO
quelli
che
avere
viaggiato
lontano nel
vita.

bisogno
a
insegnare
il
giovane

come
essi
lotta
su
loro
percorso.

stringendo
loro
piccolo
braccia

volentieri
principale
dicendo:

venire
bambino,
mi consenta
aiuto
si.

Insegnamento
con
grande
ispirazione.

principale
con
umiltà.

regolazione
buono
esempi.

copyright by erica ustioni

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TEACHING

French
Italian
German
 

ENSEIGNEMENT

ceux
qui
avoir
voyagé
loin dans
vie.

besoin
à
enseigner
la
jeune

comme
ils
lutter
sur
leur
voie.

joignant
leur
minuscule
mains

volontiers
en tête
en disant:

venir
l'enfant,
permettez-moi
aider
vous.

enseignement
avec
grand
l'inspiration.

en tête
avec
l'humilité.

mise
bon
exemples.

droit d'auteur par Heather Burns

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Thirteen Ways of Looking at Teaching Literature and Reading

I
Among twenty drowsy students
The only moving thing
Was the mind of the teacher.

II
I was of three minds
Like a book
That has many different authors.

III
The authors whirled in the minds depths.
They just being a small part of the big picture.

IV
The teacher and the students
Are one.
The teacher and the students and the authors
Are one.
V
I do not know what to prefer,
The redundancy of multiple-choice questions
Or the beauty of thinking in open ended one,
The depth of canonical text
Or the students relationships with YA lit.

VI
Questions filled their blank faces
With amazement at discussions.
The shadow of the authors words
Were etched on their minds.
The mood
Was that of inclusion,
A classroom of engagement.

VII
O poor children of the Internet,
Why do you look for the shortcuts?
Don’t you see the worlds of the authors
Sit on the shelves
With lives waiting to be lived?

VIII
I know other worlds
And strategies to help you read;
But I know, too,
That these books are involved
In what I know.

XI
When we focus on the surface of a text,
We lose sight of the things
We can discover about the world.

X
At the use of different strategies
Igniting an “I get it” spark,
Even the Dead Poets Society
Would roll over in their graves.

XI
Standardized testing pushed through the curriculum
In a competitive state.
Though, stabbing back out, the basics
Of reading and comprehending
The written novels and texts
Still remained in the shadows.

XII
Education is drifting.
Books need to be brought back.

XIII
It’s been dark for many years.
Tests and digitalization
Will develop more and more.
Though novels and texts
Will always be there, waiting.

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teach me

Pour out the memories
Drain out the love
Spill your thoughts
Show me what your made of
Remind me how to feel
Teach me the lies
I'll keep everything away
Hidden deep inside

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