Rooted in Truth, Reaching for Light

A Community Poem by ICTE teachers–Fall Conference 2022

Rooted in Truth, Reaching for Light

A Community Poem by ICTE teachers–Fall Conference 2022

Teachers broke into regional groups to make connections on Thursday of the conference and wrote a community poem together.

I’m rooted in truth.

I’m rooted in playdough and beanbags,
where to play is to learn
and to learn is to be human
Letting kids explore helps them understand
That we are all human,
And reinforces my belief that
I’m making a difference –


I am rooted in the belief that students deserve
imperfect teachers who are working
on their imperfections.
I will walk into this building and I will laugh.
I will walk into this building and I will cry.
I cannot separate the feeling from the teaching
I’m a person, too.


I’m rooted in the truth that my students are enough just as they are:
loved, valued, seen, and known.


I’m rooted in sincerity:
Kids can tell a phony from a mile away
In the faith that each of these humans in my care is GOOD.
Even on their bad days, they always need love.
They are dirty and smelly.
There are things inside them festering and wiggling around…
But they also nourish me and give me a sense of connection.
They are worthy of a fruitful and free public education.


I am rooted in the ones who root for me.
My teachers. My kids.
Dr. Davis. Who saw potential in me when I didn’t see it in myself.
My seven year old daughter, who is excited to go to school like Mom does.
The reason I am here and the reason I stay.


I’m rooted, making sure that even in darkness
There are no dead ends,
Rooted in my intentions to give life and love
Even when my own roots are experiencing drought.
I’m rooted in passion and creativity
To make a world out of paper and ink
And teaching others that strange, powerful magic.


I’m rooted in strength but bending
in the wind,
bending not breaking,
in the knowledge that I know more than I think I do,
and so do my students.


I’m reaching for more–more ways to connect, help, and inspire beyond the classroom.
For books that inspire, ignite, satisfy, and fulfill;
For a classroom where the walls hold the memories of our laughter and tears and deepest questions.
I dream of a world that doesn’t need me to teach them about
the world of despair and hope and joy.
I dream of students who look in the mirror
And see “languagers”.


I’m reaching for the reality of the eternal effect
For the moral arc of the universe to point toward justice
For my students to change from apathetic to energetic
For my students to believe in themselves


I am reaching for the light–the fire
that once kindled my passion
But now threatens to engulf me in the flame
To remind me on the darkest days
Of the hope that exists in my students


I’m reaching toward doors being open for all students in all classrooms.
for all of our students to find their place in the world.
for resilience–for ourselves and our students


I’m reaching for perfection knowing I’ll always fall short.
I’m reaching to care more and grade less.
I’m reaching for connection and community in a system of isolation
I’m reaching for righteous writing


I’m reaching to find the joy,
To be trusted like an expert in the craft
We all want kids to thrive


I’m reaching to be satisfied that what I’m doing
is enough.


I’m reaching for light.