On February 16 The Charlotte Observer ran a feature article about GranVille Caldwell and Ryan Marshall—two high school English teachers who have recently written and self-published a book of poetry about their experiences in the classrooms. According to the Observer,"Thoughts & Lamentations of Urban Education" is a "quirky 178-page saga of a year in the inner city schools, told through poetry, news flashes and takeoffs on pop songs."
A sample poem may make you want to purchase the book yourself:
Hair pulling, weave flyin'
Chairs broken, teachers cryin'
Security called, no one comes,
Got the teacher lookin' dumb
Fists flyin'—ooh la la!
This is from the book description on the website accurately reflecting Marshall's (and unfortunately other educators') experiences:
"Student bites teacher; student spits into administrators face; students openly swear at teacher; teachers are told to raise test scores or look for employment elsewhere." More information on the book is on Harding High School's website; Caldwell's school.
So far, Caldwell's assistant principal has been supportive of the book; I hope it stays that way. I applaud Caldwell and Marshall for not only voicing their thoughts about the problems they see in the school system, but trying to make a difference in their students' lives. They are examples of teachers who care about their students and are also modeling another important precept: "Your voice, expressed through written language, matters." Kudos to them.