Occupy Education Letter
Dear Mayor Bloomberg, Rich man that you are, Did you ever attend a public school in New York City? Do you even know what you’re doing? Dear Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Do you mind paying mind to schools like mine? I'm sorry we aren’t all in the best neighborhoods, But that’s not our fault, is it? Dear principals of every school, Do you care what your students say? Or do you say what they want to hear To make them go away? I never thought I would have to write this next line, Dear Teachers, Can you actually teach us? How about a dialogue in class On something actually relevant to the world we live in today, Instead of coping pages of incomplete textbooks In our now tattered useless notebooks? Do you not realize the way I spit this poem, And the way we recite a song’s every line, We already know how to memorize? How about teaching us why? Give the reason, Don’t give the excuse, That’s just the way it is. Give us essays of 200 words, Just barely covering one page. But when we get to college We have to face it, We don’t know how to write a ten page paper That’s due tomorrow morning. I can tell you only 5% of us in this school Are truly ready for college Yet I can still hear you echoing in my head; “We are only trying to get them out of here.” Out of this high school. Not prepared for college. Out into a world we know nothing of because of you. Where are your Amen’s now? I guess you don’t like being called out. Hope even your ears are beet red. I hope you do feel embarrassed, And if you're shameless I hope you're making 80 thousand, If not, I laugh at you, Cause you're as poor as us. And yet you say you're above and beyond Act like you're God, You make the word, And yet we are the arrogant ones? Thought I didn’t hear your whispers. Thought I wasn’t intelligent enough to know what you are saying . Surprised aren’t you? That’s because a long time ago I gave up on you. You are not here to educate us the ways of learning, You stand on that mock stage at tell us to start memorizing! Why leave my future in your hands? You are not teaching. You are playing pretend An d yet to no justice, You are still getting paid for it.
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This poem brings up an upsetting issue that has begun to affect schools throughout the country. Many, but not all, teachers seem to be less invested in their work than we would like them to be, and then invested students are not able to get the full education that they wish to have. This is unfortunate, but by writing poems like this you are bringing awareness to the problem, which may ultimately lead to a solution.