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Note:  To Mr. Sigmund Boloz, we convey our appreciation for the poem below. We thank Jane Hange and Anthony Cody for bringing it to our attention. Mr. Boloz was asked to write a poem for teachers during American Education Week.
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----------ORDINARY TEACHERS------------

It takes the courage of an ordinary teacher

to dig ever deeper, to live through the difficult, the complex and the controversial challenges, dilemmas, and frustrations of their everyday lives

and yet to keep searching.

It takes the courage of an ordinary teacher

to dig ever deeper, to endure the immeasurable inventory of reforms, the newest fashionable curricula, the broken promises of many educational solutions, the countless costly silver bullets, the endless list of easy answers

and yet to keep searching.

It takes the courage of an ordinary teacher

to dig ever deeper, to be pushed to the limit of human endurance
by unimportant and irrelevant workshops,
by information and paperwork overload,
by the flood of tests and standards,
by curriculum committees and team meetings,
by the ever shrinking clock that leaves no time to care

and yet to keep searching.

It takes the courage of an ordinary teacher

to dig ever deeper, to endure the troublesome parents, the troubled children, To outlast the frustrating days that come too often in the real world, in real school, in real classrooms

and yet to keep searching.

It takes the courage of an ordinary teacher

to dig ever deeper,
to serve so many masters and yet to strive to be purposeful and thoughtful,
to be excited by change,
to find joy even in the light of one student's eyes and to remember to pay attention
to the fundamental reason that they went into teaching -- the students and the learning

and yet to keep searching.

Yes, it takes the courage of an ordinary teacher to dig ever deeper,

the extraordinary courage of an ordinary teacher.

Sigmund A. Boloz    (c) 2000
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Sigmund Boloz, since 1980 a principal of Ganado Primary School located on the Navajo Reservation and the1997 National Distinguished Principal from Arizona, is also a poet.  With 400 of his poems published to date, you may have seen his work in The Reading Teacher, Young Children, Language Arts, or Teaching K-8. He shared the following new creation on a US Department of Education listserv, and with his permission, it is shared here.

Jane Hange  <hangej@ael.org>
Forwarded by Anthony Cody  <codypren@ousd.k12.ca.us>
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-- 
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL  62901-4610
Phone:  (618) 453-4241  [O]
            (618) 457-8903  [H]
Fax:      (618) 453-4244
E-mail:   jbecker@siu.edu