The Educator

I wrote this as a new teacher in Chicago in 2008.  I remember trying to put into words everything that I did on a daily basis–trying to distill a very visceral and stressful way of life into words that a non-teacher would understand.

I teach the unteachable
Reach the unreachable
fight the good fight
show kids how to do right
when test scores are lame
I take all of the blame
but I never lose heart
if they don’t do their parts
they hear it from me
and who wants that-see
how I make math look like a breeze
make ’em strive for A & B’s
and what used to be a chore
has ’em coming back for more.
all the mom’s are crackheads,
alcoholics, welfare fed
those who work just getting by
living hard asking God why
Four and five six kids at home
and the dads are long gone
8th grade girls with double D’s
6th grade boys grinning and pleased
7th don’t know how to act
running game-dont they know that
I hustled back in the day?
ain’t no words that you can say
that will catch me in a snooze
like HOVA, I never lose
number 1 is always my spot
you’ll graduate before I stop.
quitter? nothing of the sort
making you think-now that’s my sport!
there’s no heaven for a G
in the heart of the city
but I stay at it for me
gotta be all I can be
til I’ve done all I can do
after that? it’s up to you.
in the end, it’s win or lose
but you’re the one who has to chose.
I’m a learner from the womb
I’ll be learning til the tomb
and I educate by trade
a tough decision that I made
my way of giving back to JGod
a path so weary that I trod
will it be worth it in the end?
I don’t know and I can’t pretend
that it doesn’t bother me
all the wasted minds I see
and I come in contact with
yesterday, I said I quit.
then I got back up again.
my inner hustla said you chose
and I replied: I will not lose.


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