Tomorrow night is the poetry slam. Deep breath.
I've been working on this all year long, but to be honest, I've been working on this for the past five years...
When I'm asked why I went into the teaching profession, my answer is always the same: To inspire. I don't ever answer, "change lives," because that seems like too big of an undertaking, nevermind the cliche. If a life is changed because of something I did, then it's a happy coincidence and not because of my agenda.
I just want to be THAT teacher who gets kids to try new things. Perhaps because of something I do or say, they'll challenge themselves in a way they never thought was possible.
Poetry is part of this.
I love English; I really do. But I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the most traditionally "academic" English teacher out there. The way I see English is as a discipline in which students are taught how to read, write, think, speak and listen. The literature I teach is just the means to an end. My pleasure comes from the discussions we have in class and the fortunate position I am in to get to know these amazing people who walk through my door every day.
Each has a story and I want to hear it. I want my students to know that they have a voice, and that voice is worth hearing. They matter.
7 individual finalists and 3 teams will be competing tomorrow night for a chance to win the title and a cool $100.
Beyond that, tomorrow night is about uncensored student voices. They will stand on a stage in front of a crowd and do something most adults would crap their pants trying.
They're nervous, excited and stressed.
I'm nervous. I'm excited. I'm stressed.
And I'm damn proud.