Today 

Today I gave my students a test.

Today I was told to give my students a test.

One that was not worthy of them.

One that is not worthy of me.

Not heeding the loud cries of a professional teacher, they told me:

you must

for us, for us, for us.

I am not here for you, I remind.

I am here to grow lil,

squirrelly,

funny,

crazy,

can’t-stop-moving-during-a-seven-minute-mini-lesson

seventh graders.

It’s glorious and ridiculous,

but I do it everyday believing in them–

day after day.

Under your unrealistic expectations,

I work

I function

I show up!

Today I gave my students a test that had no valid place in their learning.

Tomorrow you will evaluate me on the results of a test.

Yet, today I have no say in how I grow my students.

They say I have a Masters, that I’m a professional. Some even say I’m experienced.

Today I gave my students a test,

Knowing it was not the right thing to do,

Having exhausted every other option,

Not having the power to do the right thing.

Today I apologize to my sparkling students

who deserve to grow as artists and not be stifled by the system.

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