by Cory Gomez
Five years ago, on the cusp on entering college, I was cautioned by numerous adults about the dangers of the educational field.
I would hear: “You’re crazy,” “It is a horrible time to be a teacher,” “You don’t know what you are getting yourself into,” and other discouraging cliche advice. At the time, it meant nothing to me: I was an untainted, eager, “read-to-change-the-world” 18-year-old.
All I wanted to do was follow my heart and enjoy a few years of college with my friends. The first years of college flew by as I conquered my required general education courses, but when junior year came, and I was thrown into the teacher candidate program, I realized how right those adults were years prior.
It was an absolute mess. Professors struggled to adapt instruction to reflect the needs of the ever-changing education landscape. The punishing policies being cast down from the state and federal government were crippling. There was inadequate professional development, materials, and most importantly, time. I was the victim of poor governing and law-making, and all I wanted to do was teach.
The courses were convoluted with professors’ desperate attempts to prepare us for the changes while still keeping the integrity of the original course content. The result was an extremely confused, discouraged, and resentful man moments away from employment opportunities.
This is the exact perpetuating problem I want to tackle. Educators are doomed from the start; hope is eliminated as soon as an adolescent declares they want to teach. There is such a negative connotation with teaching that is impossible to persuade pre-service teachers that they are doing the right thing.
The way media is currently portraying education is like a battlefield, but instead of recruiting soldiers to help fight, we are tell them to retreat and go home. That is why I wrote “Lessen Plans.” It is a call-to-arms. It is designed to be inspirational, appeal to the senses, and to invigorate a generation of doubtful young teachers. We need them more than ever.
“Lessen Plans” implies that now is the time more than ever to enter education and be apart of the reform. It humanizes and contextualizes the profession, demanding leaders to step forward and do their duty: teach with everything they’ve got.
Our creation’s a nation too obsessed with testing and dissections.
A generation of multiple choices questions,
And not enough reflection or progressions.
We lessen our lessons.
As we head in the wrong direction,
I’m just trying to make some connections
Because between education and oppression there’s a fine line.
Guessin’ the time’s mine
Cause the blind’s still leading the blind.
I’m becoming bitter,
Intellectual rigor withers,
The lights dim as serpents of shadows slither
Into our perception and hinder.
System’s just a business trying to grow bigger, ha, go figure.
Enough of the trickery,
About time we reconsider.
Take it from history; literacy has turned misery into liberty and victory.
Ironic that we are trying to leave no child left behind, while we race to the top.
If being dumb is the new cool, then we got to make it stop.
We got teachers who aren’t teaching,
And preachers who aren’t preaching
Students struggling, reaching,
Not finding the meaning
Cause they’re not doing their readings.
But if you can’t join ‘em, then beat ‘em.
‘Bout time we put the “read” back into freedom.
No student is a number, what happened to the humanity?
A classroom without relationships is just a damn tragedy.
So sad to see, students going unnoticed
When after all, children are our main focus.
So let’s rethink the way we teach and learn,
Give the underdogs and freaks a turn,
Go out side the box, and break the mold.
You can have a degree, but real teaching takes a soul.
Sobriety’s over, we’re drunk off ignorance.
Society’s soldier, I’m just trying to make a difference.
Lessen Plans: A Call For Teachers That Reach
Lessen Plans: A Poem About Teaching; Lessen Plans: A Call For Teachers That Reach