No longer staying the course,
I must find a way to chart a new course,
Adding what’s new in Common Core,
trying to make it something I don’t abhor,
Last year’s student wrote a note of thanks to me,
for all I did to help her grow and see,
in the memoir she wrote in the fall
and shared at the end of the year,
The first time she told the truth of how she’s in that chair,
the story of a sick loved on who fired a shot.
The remembering and writing helped her see it was more than an evil plot.
The process of healing and forgiveness began its course,
and now she has joy and is plotting her own new course.
the best way I know to make meaning out of life,
has helped my students
find their voices,
grow and reflect,
and see the power of the written word.
What I wonder about next year,
looking towards Common Core,
a time of writing
in response to text,
in a formal style,
with no room for narratives in extended writing,
is how can I help my students find their voices,
as they try to make meaning
the loss of a loved one,
the auto accident that killed a child,
the loved one’s shot who paralyzed a child,
the fears overcame,
the lessons learned from friends and loved ones battles with cancer?
The power of language,
the meaning of life,
the authenticity of exploring our
through our words.
Is there still room for that?
Will I get a letter of thanks next year like the one last week
from a student I haven’t taught in a year?
A letter that thanks me
for instilling a passion in reading,
for helping the process of healing,
for changing a life,
for helping find forgiveness,
for helping her think about the tough stuff?
Or will I get a letter thanking me
for helping a learner understand
My state units are packaged neat and clean,
I will follow obediently,
but I must find myself
in the midst of change,
if I will help my students