Academic journal article English Education

To the Loud Mouth in Room 114: An Elegy

Academic journal article English Education

To the Loud Mouth in Room 114: An Elegy

Article excerpt

I see you standing on the six inch stage up front,

wrinkled Oxford sleeves rolled to the elbow,

matching shoes and belt, a power clashing tie,

all fittingly worn-

the student-centered sage waiting to change the ways

they embrace the world:

your fresh clay to mold into busts

of justice and peace and hope and yourself,

the revival of a spirit that comfort ignores.

They close the door and turn forward to feast

upon the riches you've sworn to provide.

Worms to the birds, all infant and chaste.

You have arrived. You will succeed. You are above

the stigma and crap that cripple your colleagues

from those classes you took before you Became.

You are a teacher, both identity and function.

You've earned this moment, this space.

You swear you'll never hurt them.

I want to go up to that Me and slap his face,

Shut Up, I'd plead-you won't last five years.

You're going to lose here, curse the Leaders,

damn the System, and spread blame

like pneumonia.

You'll never own your fault, in whole, though,

and you'll hurt them when you leave.

You were great today; they needed tomorrow.

Don't show that movie, don't send that email.

Answer that parent and do your job.

Grade what you assign, and don't resign

without a humble fight.

Go to the meetings and sleep

with eyes open and engaged.

Pass out their stupid tests; then teach

democracy, metaphors, commas, and Wow.

Shutting your mouth can't silence you.

They give you braces if you're not white and straight,

but you don't need teeth to smile.

There'll always be tests. …

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