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We Have A Choice Here

We Have a Choice Here

Not all of them want to learn. Not all of them will come here and feel safe. You can’t help all of them. Some just can’t be saved.
This I was told. And so my heart broke. I took it personally when I opened the door and forced opened books and tried my best to pry open their hearts and minds and then watched them ride home in stereotypically broken-down pick-up trucks, Confederate flags plastered to bumpers.

You can’t control the universe.
As a 23-year-old stepping into newly bought and paid-for teacher shoes, I wasn’t told. But I have learned.

You can’t control the universe.
I realize now. And so what happens today inside our beloved pale-yellow-brick walls where the windows barely open far enough to let in a much-sought-after May breeze? We have a choice here. This space we own, and it can become ours.

Jessica Beaman
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
11 years of teaching

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts