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Monday, February 12, 2018

I Am A Public School Teacher

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: " I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality.... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word."

I refuse to be defined by hate,
I refuse to be the pawn in the hands of bigots and racists,
I refuse to reduce those human beings I teach to the statistics of fear,
I refuse labels,
I refuse standards without equity,
I refuse to part of the scam to close Black, Brown, and Poor Schools.
I refuse to see less in any child, when I know they are so much more than your test scores.
I am a public school teacher.

I am,
A builder of tomorrows,
A teacher of hope in the darkness,
A miracle worker in a world of inequity,
A path builder for brighter days,
A candle stick maker for those lost in darkness,
A teacher who sees hearts beating, not hearts bleeding,
A teacher who sees hope and beauty in Black, Brown, DECCA, Poor and Special Education children in our schools and universities.
I am a public school teacher.

I am not special,
I am not great,
I am not gifted,
I am another link in that long line of young mind liberators.
I am a public school teacher.

I am a bringer of hope,
I am a finder of book that open minds,
I am the voice in young minds,
That says rise up ye mighty ones,
You are more than worthy.
I am a public school teacher.

You are our tomorrows,
You are hope rising,
You are meant for greater things,
I am a public school teacher.

I am here,
To guide you,
To push you,
To move you,
I am your teacher.

I refuse to be define,
By CEOs seeking tax breaks and profits,
By Billionaires and millionaires,
By policy makers,
By legislators,
People whose have never taught children anything,
I am bigger than their hype,
I am bigger than their scams, I am a public school teacher.
I am a public school teacher

I am a public school teacher
Just Another Proud Public School Teacher,
Jesse The Walking Man Turner

"You who are on the road

Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good-bye.
Teach your children well. "

If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk on this rain free Playing For Change Teach Your Children


  1. Wow. Thank you for this. I just came from a faculty meeting about PARCC, PARCC,and more PARCC.

  2. Jesse, I love your poem! I am going to share it with our union mentoring group called COME Forward (Caucus of Millennial Educators) tomorrow. We need these words and the feelings they evoke! Thank you.