Academic journal article English Journal

Preparing the New Teacher

Academic journal article English Journal

Preparing the New Teacher

Article excerpt

You must be able to recall

your own childhood trees,

whose limbs you knew by heart,

and how the leaves clapped

as you climbed. This is how

to sustain yourself in a school

without glass, built too fast.

You must be able to recall

how you stretched to reach

the nearest bough, and how

you knew when you'd found

your place. Now, go and find

your scuffed up classroom-

it's only temporary-and remind

yourself that you're meant

to excel.

The district's money is tight:

When you ask for more supplies,

even cardboard or clay,

you might feel like a thief.

Procedures will wear

you down by day. The papers?

You'll grade them after dark.

Good Morning! Practice saying it

to those who've never played

in the woods, but who've seen

a forest televised as the place

where bodies were found.

Some of them will not look up.

Get used to fluorescent buzz, but

remember the sound of leaves.

Try to meet the parents. Hear

of wars

and dictators, the genocides

and famines that brought

them here.

Map their crossroads

in the chalky winter. …

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