The Lorax, a teacher of trees...

"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees because the trees have no tongues."

Have you ever seen the Lorax? He was all about the trees. Caring about their growth and existence...speaking for them. The Lorax was one of my favorite movies growing up. My mom loved the movie too and we would sit in our living room when it came on TV once a year and watch it together. I loved the idea that there was a thneed...a magical thing that solved every problem and could be used in any way, but also a conflicting issue about cutting down the trees that the Lorax was fighting for. Right now in my life, I am feeling a bit like the Lorax. I am fighting for my students, my trees...I am trying to speak for them. This can be a dangerous and sometimes difficult process because sometimes when you are trying to do the right thing, the wrong thing is the result. You are standing alone in the forest...speaking loudly where no one is listening.

Tonight I had a very special conversation with one of my former students...she is now an adult who is taking the next step in her life. She is getting ready to pursue her education and was sharing with me this exciting opportunity ahead of her. This young woman was in my early years with the district I teach. She is an amazing young woman. She is hard working and single minded. She was always focused on what she wanted out of her life and, even through a variety of roadblocks, she has stayed on track...waiting patiently to achieve what she wants out of life. I am lucky to be a part of her life and have the ability to watch her grow into this amazing woman. During the course of our conversation, she thanked me for all the work that I have done with her over the years, especially during her high school years. She said, "You put your whole heart into your work. Anyone who has contact with you is lucky because you are a kindhearted person. You love your job." This made me feel amazing...whenever I am in my lowest times, it seems I have a student from the past to remind me why I do what I do...for my students, my trees...for their lives. Once my student, always my student...that's what I tell them.

So here I am...speaking for the trees. As a teacher, one who wants students to achieve at the highest levels, someone must speak for them...they need their own version of the Lorax. They need someone to stand for them, to give them the space to grow and flourish.

"It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become." The Lorax speaks about this future...the future of our students. There must be protectors, someone to watch over as the machines of life come barreling through, trying to plow them over. Someone must be that roadblock, stand tall against all the negative, protect them when no one else will. Someone must stand and speak for them..tell the world of their possibility. They must be given the chance to create their lives one step at a time. They need to be given the opportunity to create a future that far exceeds what they might imagine, but they can't do this if they are limited...if they are cut down before they can begin. This needs to be a world of possibility...where trees can grow and flourish without concern or worry...in this world of crushing testing, poverty, and a variety of other things that try to stop their growth, we, the Loraxes of the world must be there.

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not"

We must all speak for the trees...our own future and our world is at stake...and that makes it more than worth it.

Comments

  1. We need to stand together and be a single voice. Well said! It is so great when a student realizes what their teacher has done for them.

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  2. I have read/seen The Lorax many times, but have never viewed it as a metaphor for teaching. Now, seen through your post, it works perfectly. As someone who works with ELL students in an urban setting, I feel like I have that same responsibility. And how great that you got to hear the impact that you had had on a student's life!

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  3. Wow. I need to print this out for my inspiration bulletin board. I had never thought to make this connection, but now I see it makes perfect sense.
    I love the way you closed :
    "We must all speak for the trees...our own future and our world is at stake...and that makes it more than worth it."
    Bravo!

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