Day 117 – I’m Taking A Class

I’m taking a class
on writing;
about teaching children
to write well

The professor wants us
to get a little journal
and carry it around
to write little thoughts in

She says I have to be a writer myself
to show a child how to be one
so we’ll practice
and she’ll check it every week
to make sure I’m doing it

I just sit so quietly
during these times

I can’t get angry
like the first four classes-
I know now this is not
really meant for me

but oh the things
I sit so quietly through
because it’s just
what has to be done

Oh the well-meaning requirements
from all the bad apples
that spoiled the bunch

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Day 69 – Progress Reports

I am the dragon of room 106,
the executioner
handing out sentences,
sheets of trouble
I never wanted to give
and I have to tell
six-year-olds
they earned it
and that Santa will be
so disappointed
but I’m not

Day 39 – Curtains

I’m sorry
that the sun is in your eyes
at story time

I don’t know how
to put up
curtains

I don’t know how
to get my life
together

I don’t know how
to put up
curtains

Actually I measured
then bought the things
I’m reading the instructions, kids
I’ll get there
I will do it

I don’t know how
to put up
curtains

But I will

Day 36 – The Hardest Lesson

I was not always a teacher
but I always had the spirit

an amateur desire
to correct

many years it took
to reign it in

to limit it to
the proper channels

but the hardest lesson
for a teacher to learn

is to let someone
be wrong

without correction
without instruction

without the satisfaction
of being proven right

I finally had to learn
that in some things

being wrong
is the only way to learn

I’ve been wrong
about many things

but oh,
I have learned

A Message from a Furious Teacher

This country is out of its damn mind if the only solution we can come up with to gun violence in schools is “arm the teachers.”

I became a teacher for a reason: to educate. To nurture. To inspire. To take care of your kids, and yes, jump in front of a bullet if I have to. But I shouldn’t have to.

I did not choose to become a cop or a soldier or a security guard. I am not a fighter. I am not a killer. I don’t want that on my hands.

You cling to your right to own guns but you have NO RIGHT to require me to take up arms that I don’t believe in.

I already have given up any chance at wealth to teach your kids. I have given up my free time and half my sanity. I come home exhausted every day, sometimes sobbing over somebody’s kid being abused or neglected or trapped in poverty or bullied because even though I know I’m doing the best I can, I can’t protect your kid from everything.

But now you want me to wield a gun? You want me to put aside my personal beliefs and have that responsibility forced on me too?

You want to ask that of me so I can keep YOUR kids safe?

I’m not the one failing your kids. YOU ARE. If you believe more guns are the solution to school shootings, go buy a gun and keep your kids home. Teach them your damn self. YOU be the one ready to stand in front of a bullet and stop demanding other people do it.

Many teachers already HAVE done it. Teachers lay dead right now from defending your kids. Has that stopped anything? If I kill an active shooter, does that do anything to prevent the next one? You think school shooters will be dissuaded by the chance that they will be killed? They’re suicidal. THEY DON’T CARE.

So don’t expect me to lay down my life for your kids when all you’re gonna say when I’m dead is “she should’ve had a gun.”

No, YOU should’ve done more to make sure YOUR kids weren’t at risk and asked yourself why OUR government doesn’t give a shit enough to do anything, and is content to let TEACHERS continue taking the bullets.