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edu180atl: kathryn smith 3.22.12

Ah Spring.  Days grow longer, the sun shines and birds sing.  Inside the walls of high school, these glorious weeks before Spring Break are marked by an often unpleasant mixture of high spirits, poor impulse control and excessive moodiness… in both students and teachers. The students buzz about prom, graduation plans, their desire to escape this “prison.”  My efforts to teach accurate MLA citations and poetic structure are utterly lost on my audience.  I was in the middle of a pretty bad attitude yesterday when I asked my class, as we study the Harlem Renaissance, to write the high school blues.  I expected petty grousing over homework, mean teachers, disastrous challenges in prom planning.   Instead, I heard the song of Youth and my faith in these unpredictable and impulsive people was renewed.  Their good natured lyrics literally brought us all to tears.  I heard the brave voice of the boy who sang to the class, and the supportive nature of his peers who began to add an impromptu a cappella back-beat.  Over the summer I read the short novel The Education of Little Tree which tells the story of an older Cherokee couple teaching their grandson the ways of their people. The boy learned to hear the song of nature, to recognize the symphony of its rhythms.  Each day I have a choice: to listen for the music being made or to dismiss it as an annoying din. Today, I heard the Song of the Teenager and it is glorious indeed.

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. Stephen G. Kennedy #

    I love this — turning the downbeat of sour spring notes into a more joyous song. Students can be inspirational when teachers seek those hearts, minds, and souls. It’s all in how we see through our own blindness. Nice Writing, Nice Insight. Thanks!

    March 22, 2012

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