Saturday, March 9, 2013

Found Poem Composed While Basking in the Glow of Ernest Morrell’s Keynote Address

 In the 1950s, the average student spoke seven minutes in an entire school year.
Kids are going to be at the peak of their career in 2050, not 1940.
Helping people become better versions of themselves,
To give a young woman the power of her voice for a lifetime.
We need to get over this idea that any change in education in a threat.
Confidence. Relevance. Love.

“I wanted to retire a dreamer, and I did.”
How do we teach?
Who are we teaching?
Why do we teach?
When are we teaching?
Confidence. Relevance. Love.

How can we get kids excited about learning?
To believe in themselves?
They know education is valuable.
They need to know that they are valuable.
We don’t have an ability crisis.
We have an identity crisis.
Confidence. Relevance. Love.

What kind of education will they need?
Teachers have to keep reinventing themselves.
What kids need from you is not necessarily what you were prepared to do.
We have to understand the logic of student disinvestment:
“What you’re doing is completely self-destructive but it’s logical.
Let’s change the logic so it’s not so self-destructive.”
Confidence. Relevance. Love.

If we take out the social dimension of literacy,
We are not really teaching about the power of their literacy.
Why don’t we ask students to write plays?
Why don’t we ask students to write in these powerful genres?
We make films in English class.
Students’ ability to deconstruct media images is a matter of life and death.
How curiosity turns into knowledge.
Confidence. Relevance. Love.

Power concedes nothing without a demand.
A fervent love for the potential of young people.
Our culpability in the explosion of students’ dreams.
It’s not cool to be a nihilist in this profession.
Those who are excellent teachers are guided by love and passion.
Confidence. Relevance. Love.

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