A contemplative poem from my phenomenological research on relationships in education.
Teacher to student
I am coming to you confident young learner,
We have been together before;
As if continuing our last dialogue, we move on;
Toward possibilities within learning.
Do you want to write your own story?
It’s your right as a learner;
Or would you prefer that we co-author?
Teacher and student, open together.
I won’t always ask you the question above
I don’t always feel that I can;
With you, I know our closeness is deepening
The safety within which gives me hope ahead
As we move together
Closer-ness our goal;
You need to know you are always free to choose;
The option of independence from me.
I am different from you in that I must stay on course
To see you develop with your own unique voice;
As you do, you will stand taller
welcoming interaction with whomever is teacher.
Sadly our times together cannot be limitless,
But their impact indeed so;
Be assured that your words are carried forward within me,
I too, am influenced by your being.
When we get it all wrong between us
we may think we need to hide;
but why not, in these times, let’s remember our history,
open-ness brought us closer, the opposite pain.
A day is coming my friend
When you must show the world your own person;
Able and ready to make key decisions,
Your voice being your own, and not that of a ventriloquist.
For you to find yourself in your future,
you must face life head on;
This is the time when your learning is seen,
Your attitude comes first, it tells where you’ve been
I’ll long to here news of your travels in life
But better still for me;
Will be the sight and sound of your person
Returning to dialogue one more time.
Don’t be alarmed if I treat other learners differently,
It only shows the difference relationally;
Some of them will hurt me in a way, I wish you not to know
I must manage this – I am teacher.
Why some avoid me, or my subject,
I guess their preferences are different to mine;
Fortunately, wonderful times occur more often
Birthed in the richness of those who choose differently.
I must bid you farewell learner,
You are ready to move on;
Remember to openness bring openness
To the other, bring hope!
© David L. Giles
19 April 2005