Friday, May 30, 2008

When I am the Perfect Teacher

I wrote this during a summer at the Iowa Writing Project. I dedicated it to my wonderful wife. Today, on the occasion of our 47th Graduation party (most of them for my everybody's-favorite-teacher wife) I present it to her again.


When I am the perfect teacher
I will have time for every student
I will listen to their problems
I will look for the good in them
They will tell me about things that are important
I will share parts of me that will help them feel normal

When I am the perfect teacher
I will forgo my planning time to talk and listen
I will watch for sports scores to good-naturedly joke
I will watch them play countless basketball and football games
I will only know a few of their parents, but I will support them
I will admire all the pictures from prom and other events adults find meaningless

When I am the perfect teacher
I will have patience for hours of talk about things I am not interested in
I will get up each morning with the thought that I can make a difference
I will know what I teach is not always the most important thing
I will ignore the people around who approach their job without passion
I will smile when people say that at least teachers have three months off

When I am the perfect teacher
I will realize that there is no such thing as perfect, though it doesn’t hurt to try
I will not let principals or parents dampen my spirit
I will know what I do is important
I will see some students as they are, damaged, and treat them with care
I will understand that I may be the most important person of the day to someone

When I am the perfect teacher
I will hold their hand at funerals
I will bring presents to their wedding
I will hug when it is needed and not wait until it’s deserved
My smile will be easy and my temper slow
I will hold dreams for my students bigger than those they have for themselves
When I am the perfect teacher -- I will realize that I may not be as imperfect as I thought.

1 comment:

Tina said...

Wow! This is great! Glad you "went out on limb" (I followed your twitter to get here).