(338) Teach to Reach

I had that moment yesterday

when I saw typically unengaged students

working together, writing, talking about their writing.

I want to teach to reach.

Had another meeting  where we were told

this is what you have to do,

and this as well.

All getting in the way of teaching to reach.

I sit here this morning, looking at all the have-to’s,

thinking about what could work,

watching the time shrink to

teach to reach.

And I come in here to write

nothing creative on my mind;

instead, my students — the ones who in a month

forgot what I had taught them before,

because I was following the mandates.

Over and over, we need time for the real work,

but what we get are demands for data-gathering

wrapped with the ribbon of “You’re a cohesive team, you can do this.”

And, “Thanks for doing what is best for kids.”

What is best?

Not these mandates.

What is best?

Teaching to reach.

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