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Tag Archives: Students

Lessons I Learned from Domestic Violence: Prompt 8 “No Visitors”

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San Bernardino School Shooting

Husband enters classroom

kills wife

and an 8-year old student

before killing himself.

I do not want visitors

while I am teaching.

We protect and serve

in classrooms

that are presumed safe.

Students should know

that no one would hurt them

inside of school.

Teachers settle arguments

and stop fights between students.

Teachers diffuse anger

and never tolerate bullying.

Teachers prepare lessons

group students for special help

and sit with individual children

who need that one-to-one time.

Karen Elaine Smith’s student

Jonathan Martinez

had Williams Syndrome

and probably spent many days

at his teacher’s side.

Karen Elaine Smith

did not have a chance

to protect herself or her students

but I believe Jonathan felt safe

as he ascended to heaven shortly after her

while she assuredly led the way.

Teachers and students don’t need visitors.

A surgeon does not receive visitors in the O.R.

Visitors are prohibited from approaching judges’ benches

Athletes don’t welcome visitors in the middle of a game.

But we who provide education

for students who seek careers

as doctors, judges and athletes

open our doors

open our arms

open our hearts

and give welcoming smiles

completely unaware that our visitors

may be armed

may be dangerous

may be ready to die.

How would the office staff know

that a visitor intends harm?

If someone needs to talk to the teacher

during instructional time

it should be forbidden

for the sake of the children’s learning time

and out of respect for the teacher’s time.

It should be forbidden

to interrupt protected classrooms

where students believe they are safe

where teachers leave their personal issues inside their homes

where unsettled family problems are locked outside the gates

and where life’s lessons

that children come to school to learn

won’t be nightmares of their classmates and teachers

shot in their safe zone

by a visitor.

 

Rest in Peace Karen Elaine Smith and Jonathan Martinez

 

 

 

 

Pieces of Peace #21

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Whenever I teach my students

how to write “Where I’m From” poems

I crave the past,

popsicles and Christmas tree flocking

falling on presents Mommie promised

I crave Nana’s baking

her back aching

and her cigarette scented hugs.

I peek into poetic memories

of young writers now college scholars

and I read.

I read Where I’m From poems

from 2002 and 2004

Precious people whose paths and mine

crossed

and tangled footprints in sand

eventually blew with wind and tears

back to my heart

where I protect the peace

in each piece I read.

I find my poem from 2008

When I was from making enchiladas

and summers in swimming pools

But I sense some missing peace

in my piece.

I don’t read that aloud

but it still shouts and makes my skin sweat.

Instead I listen

to what my class is writing

in a 15-minute warm-up.

Every voice is valued.

I praise one for its musical memories

Another for its vivid visuals of family traditions

But when I hear rich rhymes

and unexpected innocence

about loving frogs and butterflies

from the kid who never tries

I saw his light shining from trickster eyes.

I’m from never giving up

just keep writing

you’re on this one

and poems have power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I Am” 30-Day Challenge #3

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I am confident that my calling needs protection. I can’t let anyone or anything stop me from teaching my students in the way that best shows my gifts.

#30DaysofIAm