Monday, 21 January 2013

Z-A: Rebel Teacher Manifesto

zone in the zealless
year on year
(e)xcavate the x-factor and
walk with the weak.

voice the voiceless
understand the uninitiated and
try to teach tolerance.

share sunshine as you shoot down the shameless,
receive the reckless,
quieten the quarreler.

practise peace:
offer openness
nurture the needy (as you)
motivate the mocker (and)
learn to live with losing.

keep calm.

jettison the juvenile,
invite the ill-at-ease inside to invert the introvert.

hand out hope as homework. heal hatred.

guard the grateful
forgive the foolhardy
enliven the effortless; educate the eager.

deactivate the defeatist; defuse the derogatory; disarm the destructive; drive their dreams.

choose to challenge the challenging and
battle to break down bitterness.
alleviate anger: absolve the abuser; advocate for the abused.
(and after all this: be the architect of their ambitions, the artist of their aspirations...)



(NOTE: This poem uses the Poetry Jam prompt of "Rebel/Breaking all the rules". Having previously written an A-Z poem, I went for the Z-A inversion here. I chose my job as the inspiration for this poem, since teachers deal daily with would be "rebels without a cause". To my mind, however, most teachers are a breed of people who, like so many caring professionals, dare to rebel against the me-first social norm of our times. Instead, they give themselves for the future benefit of so many. This one is for you if you are a teacher, or if in what you do, you contribute to the welfare of the adults of tomorrow. Keep inspiring and believing in them!)

Also posted on Poets United

40 comments:

  1. really like this..and being a fellow teacher its not easy...so much to juggle...and so much responsibility as well in shaping the young minds...i like you backward walk through the alphabet as well...

    not sure my first comment went through so you get it twice...smiles.

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    1. Thanks Brian. Keep inspiring and shaping those minds sir. You are important.

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  2. I loved this right from the title on down. It's such a creative way to break the rules, and you didn't lose the meaning of the poem in trying to follow the backwards lettering. It works, it's fresh, and really enjoyed it.

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    1. Thanks Fireblossom. Nice of you to visit and thanks for these comments :)

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  3. This is a terrific completion. I love how you did this working from Z - A (one form of rule breaking - ha); but then inside your poem you broke a lot of rules as well. All good, but some I REALLY liked, such as "Invite the ill-at-ease inside to invert the introvert" and "hand out hope as homework."

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    1. Thanks Mary. Really kind of you to say so.

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  4. I could sign up to that. It's the nearest thing to a perfect manifesto for teachers that I've come across, either in 25 years of teaching or since. Standing ovation!

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    1. Dave, you'll know exactly what the job means. I'm sure you've inspired a multitude over that time.

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  5. I like this. What a wonderful spirit for teaching while breaking the A-Z standard rules! Sounds like your students are lucky to have you.

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    1. Thanks Peggy. Not sure I can claim to carry out all of the above. Just that I'd like to try to :)

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  6. As someone who works in Higher Ed, I really loved this post sir.

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    1. I'm sure you're doing an inspirational job. Keep inspiring :)

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  7. Terrific job on this piece--loved every line!

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    1. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting :)

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  8. You excel at breaking rules ... A+. This might be nice posted on school bulletin boards ... everywhere.

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    1. Thanks Helen. That's really kind. I'd like if that happened :)

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  9. I find this to be awe-inspiring ND. Love the structure and your sentiments. Great work here. And thank you for the job you do working with those rebel minds.

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    1. Thanks so much! Most kind of you to say so.
      Appreciated!

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  10. ...I like how you execute this...terrific voice & very suggestive... the sentiments volume all throughout the entire read in a rather decent way...i had once offered to teach...but no.. teaching is not for me...that's why admire those who could have the ability & passion to teach & influence...i enjoyed the read..thank you...smiles...

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  11. Thanks for visiting and your kind comments Kelvin. Teaching's not for everyone, but you'll have your own way to inspire others I'm sure :)

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  12. A great poem! Great lessons here for your students and everyone!!

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  13. A+ indeed. Wish everyone would "break rules" like this. Putting others first is always a win. Nicely done, difficult form!

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    1. Thanks! Also easy to write but difficult to do!

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  14. Absolutely brilliant! Difficult to put all those words together and not sound forced, but mostly because it is wonderful to know that you are teaching. My parents were teachers who subscribed to your creed. Thank you:-)

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    1. Thanks very much. Glad to hear that your parents were teachers who put so much into others' lives. Really appreciate your encouragement :)

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  15. Oh what cleaver word choice all the way around! This a-z thing is surely a form that I have never played with. You've given me a great example! Thanks!

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  16. Thanks for takking the time to read! Much appreciated comments :)

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  17. You effectively make a social statement while adhering to the intent of the prompt. Well done. And your supportive perspective is delightful.

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  18. This was creatively done, inversion of Z to A but the meaning is deep and hopeful ~

    I appreciate the manifesto ~

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  19. as a teacher and a rebel I love it bro

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  20. Excellent message from beginning to end; and well penned, too.

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    1. Thanks Anthony. Kind of you to say so :)

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  21. z-a great way to do things differently

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  22. an amazing take on the prompt! i'd like to thank you, not only for participating at Poetry Jam, but most especially for being a teacher! from the sound of it, an excellent one at that!


    dani

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    1. Thanks dani. Really enjoyed writing this one :)

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