Sunday, October 14, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018 Day 13: Un-Inspire

I've been told so many times that because my students aren't all championship students, I am a shit teacher. That unless they're always winning and being top of their class and top of their competitions, that they're pretty much useless and I'm even more useless because I can't even do a simple thing like making them win. 'We pay you to teach. We expect results.' Straw, camel's back much? 

The Blitz poem would've been super-fun to try, except tonight my brain is so tired it isn't working at all. So this is a prose poem, slam poet Bill Moran style.



DAY 13: UN-INSPIRED

every day someone posts some inspirational shit on social media and every day I want to shove those stories down their throats and shout STOP TRYING TO INSPIRE ME DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE KILLING ME INSTEAD

(i measure out my life in spoons ((coffee tea sugar teaspoon tablespoon it doesn’t matter)) no that’s not right

i measure out my life in lack of spoons
 i am a spoon that folds in on itself and vanishes
all i have left are knives)

(good teachers produce A students championship winners you don’t so you’re a shit teacher don’tcha know ((why must A equate success why / can’t B or C or D be equally as good because not everyone starts from A some start from X and climbing up to V is Mission Impossible with the theme song blaring only you don’t know if it’s gonna be pass or fail so why / isn’t that something to celebrate isn’t that something to teach students that it’s ok not to be the top  that mediocre isn’t bad that they aren’t defined by numbers and letters but by name their own secret name)) to name a thing gives it power gives it existence) why won’t we give them power give ourselves power how does one stop the world so we can all

get

off)

runrunrunrunrun BE PERFECT runrunrun YOUGOTTABE A STAAAAAAR
what if I’m just a pigeon with tinsel twisted around grubby feathers
trying
to

s p a r k l e

6 comments:

Esther Spurrill-Jones said...

There's a lot in here. I really like the image: "a spoon folds in on itself and vanishes all i have left are knives."

ms_lili said...

you have the heart of a lioness and the strength to validate the students under your care. FUCK THEM and their labels and pressures. only 1 in any crowd is #1 and the implication of this mindset is the rest of us are sh*t. it's part of an evil system. you stand, lioness, between them and them.

odhran said...

I LOVE the closing of this poem. It ends up exactly where it needs to.

Cara H said...

"every day someone posts some inspirational shit on social media and every day I want to shove those stories down their throats and shout STOP TRYING TO INSPIRE ME DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE KILLING ME INSTEAD."
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I feel you so much with this!
If I had a dime for every time I've ever felt really down and some sappy shiny-happy gets up in my grill with "don't be a negative Nellie", I'd be living in a posh mansion instead of on my son's couch.
Teaching is about much more than test scores. The way the school system is currently it kneecaps teachers. From what I can see here, you are a great teacher because you care about your students. That's much more important than test scores.

Shuku said...

Esther: Thank you Esther! I use 'spoons' a lot when negotiating my days (I have chronic pain issues and am working my way out of a major depressive spell). Sometimes it just feels like I don't even have one ounce of cope left, and I just vanish under it all.

Jade: Thank you so much, you have no idea how much that helped me today. I don't always feel like a lioness, but I do know that grades aren't everything and it's important for students to *know* this. That they're not defined by letters and grades, and that their best is as equally important to me as winning something.

Odhran: Thank you! It was just one of those ridiculous images that came to mind, and as far away from a shining star as it could possibly be...

Cara: *HIGH-FIVE* I am so glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about inspirational social media stories sometimes! I am so sorry to hear that people get on your case like that, being down doesn't always go away with trying to be positive. And thank you so much. It's getting very hard to keep teaching some days, especially here in Southeast Asia. Grades seem to be all that parents (and schools) want...

Angela van Son said...

I know I was writing a poem and wanted to link up to this one, but I don't have a clue which poem that was and where the draft is. I'll find it, some day...