Quaranteaching After Poetry: Movement in Three Parts

Part I: You Got Me

It is Monday after a weekend when my gaze was upon two queens “battling” softly to their tunes more like celebration than war…

They had surrendered that story–two nations at odds–years ago for that is a story that wasn’t theirs in the first place. Like two lovers of one man, pitted against each other until they realize that they both love him, unconditionally and in less profane ways than the ones, outside of the circle feeding on quarrels that don’t exist. The stuff that created a rift between East Coast and West Coast that only ended in untimely deaths of leaders like Tupac and Chris (better known as Biggie) in a world that doesn’t really care to know them…yet they consume them.

These queens play their firsts…

Their versions of the same song…

In love and respect, homage and honor…

You got me…don’t worry…you got me…

Don’t worry. You know that you got me.

Part II. Watching Me

Surveilled by consent of a click

In order to see what I think might be there

Suspecting that no one is really there and yet ev’ry one is…

Who is in the room if all I see is a name, unallowed to be renamed…disallowed to be claimed and yet present in gallery view

From the Beginning

Perceiving the chain that school-issue


Marked for me and them

Part 3: Reach

“Some dreams live on in time forever, those dreams you want with all your heart…”

I do not see this time as tragic…this time of uncertainty in education. I see it as an opportunity for tremendous equalizing force, realizing that it too can (and will) exacerbate inequities if we allow it. If we think that we must maintain what we have always had before…it will feel like we are reaching…grasping for straws in thin air.

But I have never wanted what we have always had. I want something different, not even something more…just different. More of the same, is like having a second helping of oatmeal when you want an entirely different meal.

I imagine teaching like coaching. Applying the right pressure to get the best from the ones who I have been entrusted to train…knowing that they will ultimately execute the plan that they see is best for them in that moment.

I have always imagined differentiated evaluation not just differentiated instruction…opportunities to showcase what you want, how you want…

This is closing ceremony…it is time to reach.

Gloria Estefan at the 1996 Olympics Closing Ceremony

Soñar con lo que más queremos
Aquello difícil de lograr
Es ofrecer llevar la meta a su fin
Y creer que la veremos cumplir
Arriesgar de una vez
Lo que soy por lo que puedo ser

This is that year when Strug literally left blood on the floor…the year when she decided to do what she felt best for the team…and when her team, fully inspired, picked up where she left off…

This is a new language for teachers, the language of reform and real opportunity. I am reaching for something different that I always imagined could be…

…if I could reach, putting my spirit to the test, knowing I tried my very best…I am going to be stronger…

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