Small Things With Great Love

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Apr 07 2013

“Dear Students”

About a little over a month ago, some students came to me to start a poetry club. Shortly after, “Raison d’etre” (Reason for existing) was created. We started meeting everyday until 4pm after school. It’s been so amazing being around these students. They are inspiring, courageous, and talented, all at the same time. And for them to offer me a piece of their heart through poetry is so amazing. Even though I did Speech and Debate in high school and did Oral Interpretation, I’ve never done Spoken Word. So these students inspired me to write my first spoken word poem. I performed it a few weeks ago and they FREAKED out (in a good way). It addresses some of the issues that I see daily about them, their school, and the education system.

Dear students,

why are you so occupied with everything but school?

your name, your status, worried if you seem cool

don’t you see that the more you play in this viscious game,

the more you drive real people away?

I see you daily

creating drama over your own infidelities

fighting over petty things

when the very thing you should be fighting for

is your right to have more

quality, thus equality

I’m talking about your education

because this education system is split

the rich from the poor

survival of the fit

you see in other schools

their expectations are high

but in this school,

you’re only expected to get high

in other schools their battles are of the bands

in this school, fights stir up from different clans

dance is to express

not to undress

art is a form

through which to stand out, not conform

and i agree, school may seem

like a testing ground a laboratory

research for genetic modification

creating a generation of mutants

learning how to pass a test

but learning absolutely nothing at best

and even I feel like I’m being poked and prodded

but pointing will neither help nor solve it

so here I am trying to start a movement

turning that experiment into a revolution

change over time, an evolution

so can’t you see that this is beyond geometry

i’m not just a math teacher, i’m a preacher

my classroom’s my pulpit

the school is my church

telling you that though you are created from dirt, that is not your worth

telling you that there is a battle for not just your mind, but your soul

so are you going to be one of those

wounded by foes

or are you going to use every loss and failure as stepping stones

to rise

to captivate and not be captured

to fight

against hatred, but not each other

to create

opportunities when there are none

to inspire and inquire

to be curious and wonder

to satiate your intellectual hunger

or are you going to sit back and smoke up

because you think that all you’ll ever do is fuck up?

Darling, your playing small does nothing at all

and the only thing you should settle for

is nothing short, of greatness

so believe in yourself, as I believe in you

and really, all you have to do is choose

not to let darkness dim your light

so be strong, carry on, and fight the good fight

©Angela Wu

One Response

  1. Top 30 Blogs for Teachers of 2012 linked to this post.

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