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Saturday, January 23, 2021

There ain't no high-stakes test gonna keep me in my grave


What my Hero Teachers in my life taught the teacher in me?
There was no:
Standards, or
Standardized test,
That could prevent them,
From teaching us what really mattered to us.
My Hero Teachers came in all colors, all faiths, some American born, and some came from afar,
They were, Culturally Relevant,
Before it, became the professional thing to do.
Yes, I know what is in the:
Standards, and
On those high-stakes tests,
But, more importantly,
I know that no power on earth,
Can keep me, or those I teach out.
My Hero Teachers were bigger than data walls,
My Hero Teachers were bigger than any standards,
My Hero Teachers were bigger than any approved curriculum,
My Hero Teachers were bigger than the test scores.
My Hero Teacher fortified me with a legacy of:
Dignity, and
Hope, and
They were beautiful, opinionated, and powerful. But, she was the fire burning, Here is to our fire burning, Mrs. Stanfield. We sat at lunch, talking Baldwin, Gather on the practice field hearing Garvey, Hanging on the corner, critically discussing Beawolf, In the park, we wanna be gang bangers, citing Sheamus Heaney, At 5:00 in the afternoon when Ignacio Sanchez Mejias fell in the bull ring, We lamented with Federico Lorca Garcia Diablo Poetics,
We walked with Maya's I know why the caged bird sings. We owe it all to her, Mrs. Stanfield knew there were bigger lessons that her girls and boys needed learning, Hail to every hero teacher, who saw us, not some distance curriculum.
I walk in the footsteps of Hero Teachers bigger than me,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner
CCSU Literacy Center Director
If you like to listen to the song that inspired my walk this morning, its Jamie Wilson's cover of "Ain't No Graver"
Need some fire? Places to go, and people to hear, and lessons to learn, tomorrow it's all Radical Love in the time of pandemic: Imagination and hope in Public Education. Come learn with us > <

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