To Whom It May Concern

June 11, 2014

What really got me
Was the grin she wore
When she exclaimed:
“Not all of us have
Easy jobs like teaching.”

Let me tell you, ma’am,
What I say to people
When they ask me
Why I teach.
Why I’d take a job
That I probably don’t
Get paid enough for,
A job where I am more
Likely to be shot than
A 7-11 employee, a
Job in the noble field
Of education.

My answer is three-fold:
1) Summer vacation
2) Christmas vacation
3) The complete and
Utter satisfaction of
Knowing that I am
Doing something that
No one else gets to do-
Change their minds.

I could tell her about
The kid whose home life
Makes me sick because
I know they’re hungry,
But they stay after to
Talk to me about what
They think Holden is
Going to do next.
I could tell her about
The group of LGBT kids
Who come in and create
Poetry that burns in me
With thick, lasting flames.
I could tell her about
How I can teach students
That they are more than
The bones and flesh that
Are sitting in my classroom;
And that the fact of
The matter is this:
Their words and ideas
Give them permanence.
A hundred lifetimes
Would not give you the
Clarity of purpose they
Can grant you, if you are
Only willing to show
Them the way up.

I could say all of this
And more, but I smile,
Let her walk away, and
Remember that we are all
Both teachers and students
In the classroom of life.



2 Responses to “To Whom It May Concern”

  1. Mike Says:

    Godawful and too generous to the grumblers – and a denouement to serve all (pun intended).

  2. MSBQ Says:

    How do you figure? I should have told her off? I am curious about what you mean.

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