Thursday, February 24, 2011

Poem: The Principal's Office

The principal calls me, "one of her teachers" she says

into her office and

mutters something incoherent in Hebrew to me

her language, her body moves

with every sound

that gutteral sound that

my father tried to speak to speak to me

is now Her sound. Her voice.

"I want to....." I said,

In Hebrew.

No excitement. Just words.

I fill in the rest of the sentence. It's confused. Battered up.

She knows what she's going to say even before hearing me

I am still trying to figure out what word to say.

I'm in a development town in Israel with Morracan Jews

who think the US is all about Julia Roberts and "Pretty Woman"

I tell my students it's not like that

But they still want to learn English

their way.

I want to teach it, "My Way,"

Is that why I'm here? In the principal's office?

Another teacher gets called in.

it's about how we work together.

not the language.


We talk it out - in their language.

not mine.

We don't find a solution.

In their language.

Not mine.

And I go home. Write about the lesson.

In my language.

I taught another lesson to fourth graders

who are learning another language

That just happens to be my mother tongue.

Only I'm not so sure if this cultural classroom is mine or theirs.

I'm still trying to figure it out.

1 comment:

  1. Very Nice, good luck with the new blog and your writing/teaching. You are doing great things.