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,
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
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.
We don't find a solution.
In their language.
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.