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Morning Minutes: January 15, 2016

Tired today.  Coming down with something.  Didn’t rise till 5:00.  At a loss for words.  And that doesn’t happen very often.  The last time it happened was at the Washington State Teacher of the Year Retreat, where each regional competitor had to write an inspirational story from his or her classroom.  I’m not sure if it was the pressure of being an English teacher or the I’m-not-really-a-chicken-soup-for-the-soul-story-kinda-guy,  but I had nothing.  Nothing.  Finally, with pressure mounting and deadline looming, I found something–not chicken soup exactly, but an honest serving of who I am. Feeling a little awkward about the whole award thing and being exposed by the spotlight and my worthiness for the award and not wanting to pat myself on the back, I wanted people to know that I am not always the model teacher, and I have lots of bumps, bruises, and scars from my learning over the years.   So, I wrote the poem below.  It’s the second time the poem has come to my rescue.  Here is the link to  From Seed to Apple ( ) that is published annually at the retreat. Sorry for my lack of inspiration and words this morning.  I’ll get back in the game next week.  Have a wonderful weekend, all.


I Wonder if They Know 

Confessions from the Classroom

I wonder if they know

That I ruined Jared’s day.

He was wearing a bandana, and

After all, a rule is a rule.

And despite his sunny, spring-day step,

I would be right,

For he was wrong.


I will not tell

That I found him later

With a handshake and a sorry.


I wonder if they know

That I failed Marina.

Too late I learned

She wanted to teach.

Too late, for

I had already placed her on

The 16-and-pregnant track.


I will not tell

That now

We have community circle

Every Friday.

I will never not

Know my kids again.


I wonder if they know

That I passed Morgan

Even though he failed

With a 42

And not an attitude I loved.


I will not tell

That I was not so sure

That it was not I

Who had failed.


I wonder if they know

That Rachel earned an A,

But I gave her a C.

It could not be helped.

She had not done

All her homework.


I will not tell

Of my now desperate hope

As I shy

From the mistakes of my past,

Clinging not to

The prejudice of grading

But the justice of learning.


I wonder if they know

Of my emptiness in June

As I jest


It’s over,”

Scooting each

Out the door

With handshakes and hugs.


I will not tell

Of my excitement in August,

Of an admission

Beyond doubt

That I need them more

Than they need me.


I wonder,

And I want

Them to know

3 Replies to “Morning Minutes: January 15, 2016”

  • This was truly powerful, I loved how everything came from your heart. The emotion show through and illuminates the point perfectly.

  • I’m a student of yours but your poem meant a lot. Sometimes I forget how much teachers work and how much they care to help us. Thank you.

  • Sorry you are under the weather today. But still you presented a “wonderful” read. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey,

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