Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Learning to Be a Teacher

Keith, who taught in a rural school
loved the hardscrabble landscape.
He taught his students
how to translate life into poetry.

Steffinaci, who wore clerical black
after leaving the seminary
salvaged youths
wearing gang tattoos
as marks of belonging.

Helen, whose language excluded
speech punctuated with four
letter words taught students
whose language relied
on those words
as nouns, verbs and adjectives.
She cobbled together
books that captured their imagination.

Becky, who loved the children
who lost language,
who perseverated, who didn't fit,
who couldn't look at you,
who moved away from touch.
Meet them, she said, where they are
and move from that place.
You can't rush or push
It's like the lyric
movement of a symphony.

Linda Watskin ©2010

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