To my students, past and present:
furniture shoved to one side;
I wonder: What’s a classroom made of?
Is it the stacks of books,
now neatly crammed in boxes?
Or was it heads pressed close together;
eyes pouring over shared journeys;
collective voices running across worlds, opinions, facts?
Is it the projects, posters, inventions, creations;
sorted, filed, sent home?
Or was it the dreamers, inventors, artists, poets,
who, from the same lesson, envisioned new paths;
unique interpretations of a teacher’s carefully laid plans?
Is it the desks,
hollowed, etched from days gone by?
Or was it the people who filled the room;
handshakes, high-fives, hugs;
tears shed; opinions voiced;
identities growing, learning, transforming?
What makes a classroom?
Memories fade of numbers and dates and “i before e except after c.”
Even emptied rooms know,
the relationships stand;
connections bind what no distance can part; our time together – us, we, you, me- that is what classrooms are made of.
If We Were in School: A Poem to My Students