In the spring, a teacher's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of finding other employment. I was moping about teaching to a friend, and he said, "This is exactly what you were saying last March." Ah, the gentle rhythm of the seasons...
The thing about teaching, though, is that you get a new chance every day. I guess that's true of life in general, but there's something about the way teaching is divided up into finite class periods. And my middle schoolers are forgiving. I may have been impatient yesterday, but today they bound in, crowing, "Hello, Mrs. H!" as though nothing happened. They may have whined about the assignment I gave them, but most of them did it anyway.
This week the outgoing Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets wrote a goodbye email; she's leaving the position and moving back to Seattle. She quoted this poem, and when I read it, I felt hopeful. Hope is important; it's what keeps you coming back day after day. It's what keeps you reading student writing. It's what prevents you from giving up. There's a reason why every third organization working in Haiti has the word "Hope" in its name.
Here's the poem:
Horses At Midnight Without A Moon
by Jack Gilbert
Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
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And here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.
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