On The Backs of You

I love teachers. They make an incredible difference in the lives of so many children. So why are they under attack?

An amazing educator, Jen Daley, sent the following poem to me. It speaks volumes.

ON THE BACKS OF YOU

On the backs of you

We place expectant, frisky, needy children

We send them to you

often not ready

Tired or stressed from the rat race kids live today

Or after a fight with us

We send them to you with all of our dysfunction

tied up inside them

Sometimes without proper care at all

On the backs of you

we place our judgment

of what works and when and how and why

On the backs of you… our reputation

On the backs of you we

place eager, egoistic, often misguided initiatives

to carry out dutifully

without a trace of your autonomy

without even your authentic endorsement

On the backs of you

we place data and scores

and the full responsibility of their outcome

We give you tests and scores, initiatives, and programs

and when they don’t work

We leave them on the backs of you

And when they do work

We leave the wake of the un-children on the backs of you too

Their blank faces, their ADHD

Their shallow thinking, their disconnected emotions and thoughts

Sometimes you show us your fatigue

Sometimes you show us the brave I-can-do-this face

And sometimes you weave through the chaos

And our kids run home bubbling from the day

We see their enthusiasm and confidence

We hear their stories and triumphs

We feel their love for you

And sometimes…

sometimes

We KNOW it was ALL

on the backs of you.

- Jen Daly


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