Words have power, whether we say them to ourselves or others. Silent or spoken. Why not tell ourselves and others wonderous words?
Ø What words do you like to be called?
Ø What words do you want to become?
Ø What words make others react in a positive way?
Ø On the other side what words hurt, and push others away?
Ø What is your purpose? What makes you feel loved? Feel valued? Feel whole?
Ø When you leave this world, what do you want others to remember about you?
Ø What good things do you need to say to yourself?
Ø What words are fun to say?
Ø What words are soothing?
Ø Can you extend words into similes and metaphors and make them outrageously blessed or play with alliteration?
Ø Social Studies: How have words changed over time? What words do we borrow from other languages?
Ø Math: What math vocabulary can tell a story or just list some words for fun?
Ø Science: Try an experiment, if you say positive affirmations, does it affect you in any way?
Ø Social Justice: What happy memories can you recall? What do you want for your neighborhood? Society? The World?
May We Be Forever Changed=Beloved Community
Each morning he proudly turns in his homework
As if it is graded in dreams come true,
Outside of the window a tree turned gymnast,
Twists, flips, stretches, working,
just for a taste of the sun,
available for others standing tall in front,
May we never confuse access for ability,
The measurement of progress isn’t always
how high you reach, but how far you have come,
The moon shines even when you don’t see her,
May we always choose what is right over what is easy- especially when no one is looking,
As we welcome back students, may we return forever changed,
Maintain a space to welcome whole humans,
No matter how loud or how
Welcome the dreamers, the drifters, some
Students given labels before a name,
May we first see humans wanting what we all want:
belonging and dignity,
As the ocean waves crash against the New York Harbor
Our students’ hopes smash into a reality where budgets cuts remind us their potential is too large to be supported by a government with wars it would rather enforce,
May we carry torches of inspiration to remind them
we all are on this earth for a purpose
Celebrate each day, let storytelling have a place,
We are not just basketball ball champs,
I recall other principals called asking
How did tests score on Brown Street get Higher than the national average?
Inner city in not synonymous with stupid nor lazy
Even with no air conditioning in the heat
Bees flying in and out never any screens,
Barely working heat in the cold from dilapidated buildings
we still graduated scholars that walked the streets as noble soldiers forced to battle in colonized controlled concrete fields
but still found time to do homework,
help mama with chores,
Buy each other teddy bears,
Dress to impress while
Crafting kindness Angel wings
As Eloquently written thank you notes,
Beloved Community makes it easier to wake up early mornings,
Carrying corrected copy of the United States history textbook, Students can see the Black history starts way before slavery-there was way more celebration and invention
until struggle was introduced to the vocabulary
Carrying confusion -glorified explores-terrorized indigenous, Recall how ancestors held the sun in the palms of their hands, We will reach into the sky shove shooting stars into our backpacks-snack off of our dreams
We need more faith in each other, that could cut carry us higher than the sky smoking the crack of dawn,
In our classrooms let us speak in our home language
Hard to translate God into human
Why do you think the Egyptians drew hieroglyphs? Together, we learn the language-attain the status or pride deserves-decipher the devil snakes hiding in dollar signs
even though they tsk at my teacher salary
Question my students’ capabilities
As we are hit with bricks a status quo
told idealism will burn down like the twin towers
We will not cower,
We have the power of our great grandparents wishes,
The stories of freedom riding uncles and aunts, the warm hugs from our sisters and brothers,
the spoken word of our play cousins that keep our children believing in their dreams,
Evening News would have you believe there is no hope, that the is no love on the streets,
We teach, preach, pray, love, cook,
Hope, dance, laugh with our back to the TV set
Proving brilliance had always existed here,
Even though our children are not given the same opportunities
Each morning, he turns in his homework as if it’s graded in dreamscoming true
May we never confuse access for ability
May we always choose what is right over what is easy and walk in our values with an awaken consciousness
Belovedly Holding Whole Humans