Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Big Ups!

A couple of days ago I read an incredible post over at The Prisoner’s Wife. She’s a teacher and she wrote about her frustrations with one of her female students. The Prisoner’s Wife cares deeply for her students and felt as if she lost her temper and needed to apologize to this young lady. The Prisoner’s Wife is obviously a talented and committed teacher.

The third Tuesday of every month we host an interactive poetry workshop, Rock the Pen!, for middle and high school students. The program features a different guest poet every month and includes an open mic session for the kids who are interested in sharing their work. We get kids from all over Philly, South Jersey, Delaware, private school, public and charter schools. What really drives the program are the teachers who go the extra mile to get their students to the program every month. This is no easy task since most teachers are under extreme pressure to teach to the test and receive little to no incentives to go the extra mile for their students.

Yolanda Wisher is different. Yolanda is an extremely talented teacher and poet and every year she not only brings her students from Germantown Friends to the program, but she also swings by Germantown High to pick up another group of students and they all head down like one big happy family to participate in the program together. I won’t even go into the huge disparity between the two schools, except to say that one exists with vast abundance and the other exists in a constant state of lack. Yolanda’s also the driving force behind the second annual Germantown Poetry Festival, so not only is she talking the talk, but she’s also walking the walk while setting an example for her students that will serve them far beyond their days in high school.

Big ups to The Prisoner’s Wife, Yolanda Wisher and teachers everywhere who do great work day in and day out and receive very little fanfare and insufficient pay.

1 comment:

the prisoner's wife said...

oh wow! thank you so much for the shout out. man...this has been a completely exhausting week & it aint even over!

but this program sounds FABULOUS! too bad i'm no longer on the east coast. beloved's Dad & Stepmom live in South Jersey. i would love to attend this one day.