Search This Blog

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Teaching Has Become My Bridge Over Troubled Water


Songs speak to me. Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Trouble Water is always on my playlist these days, <

Lately, I have found my teaching is more about helping our elder teachers to hold on, 
Helping our younger ones to know there is a better day coming,
I still teach the clinical skills needed for Literacy Specialists and future teachers,
I am a more the kind elder, 
More understanding, 
More compassionate, 
More human.

A teaching reminder,
that joy matters more than the numbers,
That we are the hope in the wilderness.

It is a burden too heavy,
But it is my burden of love.

Each night, I close my our Literacy Center door,
I walk slower these days,
More tired, 
I pray Lord lift these teachers up,
Give them hope,
Show them love.
It is a short stroll to the parking lot.

The burden gets lighter,  
As, I pick from my teaching heroes,
Selecting from these precious memories of those teachers,
Who lifted me,
In times of darkness,
Those names are my bridges over trouble waters.

Let me say, 
Their names?

Mr. Bass, 
Who fed me stories,
Who gave me the coat, hat, gloves in that coldest winter,
Who called my sister Jessica,
Jessica, your mother can’t do it,
Your brother can’t sleep in the train station, and succeed in school,
You need to help them both,
Talk to your husband,
Don’t ask him, 
Tell him, you will take him in. 

Mrs. Stanfield,
Said Young Man, you will not hand me in first drafts as your only drafts,
This is Honors English.
I don’t take one shot essays. 
She lit the fire,
She gave us,
Left us Macaulay “'Then out spoke brave Horatius”, The Captain of the Gate.

Dr. Jerry Weiss,
Who said, you are an urban educator,
Understand this comes with an extra responsibility, 
Young Mr. Turner, you can not only teach the skills,
You must learn to light the fire.

Dr. Dorothy Menosky,
Ask your wife to invite me down to lunch on Saturday,
Explain I have something to ask of her, young Erin, and you,
That lunch became, 
I am asking your family to go on a quest to become a teacher of teachers,
It might be the hardest thing you have ever attempted,
I would not ask it of you without Carolyn and Erin’s full support.
That lunch set in motion my quest to become Doctor Turner,
The teachers of teachers.

Dr. Yetta Goodman, 
She gave me a greater purpose,
Put me on a mission of change,
Called me her Ghetto Doc,
Help me see the bigger picture,
She led by example,
Her teaching like a cool stream on a hot day,
Her voice was my prophet in the desert,
She require teachers know the research from everywhere,
The research you agreed and disagreed with,
You must understand it all informs your thinking Jesse.
I want you to lead with,
Research, and 
Double up on that hope.

There are others,
My list is long.
Teachers are my heroes,
My hero Teachers lighten my burden,
And, I leave the parking lot understanding,
Like my hero teachers,
I am a bridge over troubled waters,
I sleep well, 
My burden less heavy, 
And I am ready for whatever may come. 

I am a bridge over troubled waters,
Dr. Jesse P. Turner 
CCSU Literacy Center Director

If you want to listen to the tune that inspired my morning walk to day its Labi Siffre's Something Inside So Strong > <

No comments:

Post a Comment