12 August 2010

may hope spark in hollow eyes

in less than two weeks
Teacher Me will be on stage
for many pairs of eyes

eyes with
stories behind them
stories temporarily sealed
in stone cold pupils

eyes with
stories inside them
stories shooting daggers
through Reader Me’s heart

eyes with stories
waiting to be screamed
stories flowing freely
from far too few
little writers waiting to
set words to page
to let it out
to tell stories of moments of lives

all eyes on me
I will find a way to rivet you
to make you want to tell your story
until you can hardly wait to create
to write what could quite possibly be
the greatest story ever told

it’s the dead eyes that worry me
the eyes with nothing there

This piece is in response to the Poets United Thursday Think Tank prompt: The Eyes.


Paul Andrew Russell said...

I love how you wrap this up at the end.

I don't envy you your occupation, on stage in front of all those expectant eyes.

Derrick said...

Just as I was thinking motherhood to be all-powerful, you become a teacher too! A great weight indeed rest upon your shoulders but the rewards, when they come, must be equally great.

Systematic Weasel said...

Excellent post! Teaching is never an easy job, but its rewards are far greater.


brenda w said...

Paul, Thank you. I love the teaching time I spend with kids. They make it worthwhile.

Derrick, Teaching is the easier of the two professions, no doubt. You are right, the rewards in teaching sometimes seem few, but when even one student comes back to thank me, it is worth it. Thanks for your kind words.

Weasel, Thanks for the kudos, I agree that the rewards outweigh the difficulty.

Philip Thrift said...

"stone cold pupils"

The double-meaning of "pupil" works great in this poem! Very nice.

Mary said...

Excellent, Brenda. As a former teacher, I can SO relate to your poem. I always found the very FIRST day of school to be very hard...when all those new eyes were looking at me for the first time. And yes, so many stories....

Serving Hugs on a Platter and Tears in a Teacup said...

Loved this! The challenge of being a great teacher and inspiring your students to share....I had a teacher (3 actually) that inspired me. I just published a poetry book and gave a special thanks to them for the encouragement! Keep touching those kids....even the ones with the dead eyes...maybe you might light a spark...

ANd then that will be the story of all stories....


One never knows...just as your poem says.

brenda w said...

Philip, Thanks, that was an edit I made after I posted this morning. :)
Mary, It's the stories that make the job for me. I am fortunate to have at least one small group each year that I spend two periods every day with. It's safe, productive, and (I think) fun. It's definitely my highlight every day. I bet there are times you miss it...
Oh lovely hug server, I'm glad to hear you had a teacher who inspired you, more than one even! I had a couple great English teachers in high school, and even more inspiring professors in college. The bottom line is lifting kids up so they feel good about themselves, and then getting them to engage in their academic life.

(It's coming so soon!)

rch said...

Hi Brenda, I also greatly admired the double meaning of pupils and enjoyed the poem as a whole, good luck with the coming semester.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Those are lucky kids, having a teacher who knows stories live inside of them.........I love the title of this poem, and that you want to inspire them to tell their stories........very powerful ending. So many kids already have that spark dimmed in them. You sound like a really good teacher, one of the best kind!Thanks for this poem.

brenda w said...

Thanks for the well wishes rch. It is always a challenge. ;)

Sherry, I feel lucky if I can get them to freely share their stories. Sometimes the whole room changes when a voice is heard. Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate them.

Diane T said...

Brenda, one of the best gifts of all you can give a student is to give him / her the desire to tell their stories. May you inspire at least one student (this year) to greatness!

Mary said...

Brenda, neat that you have two periods a day with a small group. That would be MY highlight too. I do miss working with KIDS and like to believe I have inspired a few, but paperwork...no. LOL.

flaubert said...

Brenda I know some friends who are teachers in the USA and they tell me it is almost becoming impossible to reach some of the children. I salute you on your bravery. I am an English teacher here but the situation is completely different these people want to learn English because they know of the opportunities for them being bilingual.
Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

So wonderful you can see the stories others may miss, however hard it may be to read some of them. There will always be stories to tell...I hope there continue to be teachers like you who make the effort to listen.

Paul Oakley said...

Eyes with stories behind, stories inside, stories waiting to be screamed, and dead eyes - moving portrait of the classroom. Of course the dead eyes have stories too, though locked tight inside...

Nice read. Good luck with the upcoming school year!

jinksy said...

Sadly, there are a few eyes that even in adult hood remain blank...
All teachers deserve a medal for facing the combined eyes of each child in class ! LOL :)

Doctor FTSE said...

I should not add levity to the comments on this accomplished poem . . . but, Jinksy, what's an "adult hood"? Is that something grown-up hoodies wear?

Carrie Burtt said...

Brenda this is such a unique and wonderful take on the prompt...you are a teacher in so many ways...love the feel and flow of it as well. Brilliant writing! :-)

brenda w said...

Doctor--Please feel free to poke fun wherever it is had to be poked. Make sense, that?

Jinksy--Some days the kids deserve a medal for putting up with me! :)

Diane--Thanks for your blessing. (May it come to fruition.)

Sherry--Thanks for your kind words. I am lucky when they share stories. They have rich interesting lives.

Pamela--The kids are definitely a different breed than when we were young. Disrespect flies. With my students I try to let them be who they are and still work within parameters of respect for school. The kids are rough, they see crap on television and kill each other in video games. A different breed.

rch- Thanks for your comments, visit, and well wishes for the semester. (here's hoping!)

I missed a few individuals, but did read your comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this and comment. The students are the reason I teach. They keep me going every day.

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

I appreciated your words very much. A daunting experience for not just pupils, but teachers alike, as a new academic year dawns.
Thank you for creating an awareness!