When I was in the first grade
I was a “pleasure to have in class.”
I would sit quietly and do as I was told
I would listen and learn
With a determined intensity of a kid
That would brown nose just enough
To get the grade but never
Enough to stand out from the crowd.
“If they were all like her,
My job would be so easy!”
My teachers would say to my parents.
In a way I was pleased to be pleasing them so,
To be the one that raised the bar and held it above my head.
But I am no longer in the first grade.
I no longer see my deafening silence as a good thing.
I no longer wish to be your
“Pleasure to have in class”
Because I have a voice
And I have things to say
And you should never have made me feel
Like that was a
I place my stunted ability to speak up
On your shoulders,
Because I never understood that
Saying what I thought
Could be anything less than a burden on you.
But I understand differently, now.
I understand there is a way to
Release the words that are stuck inside my lungs.
Because I have a voice,
And it’s my pleasure to use it.
— r.g. | Why I Started Talking Back to Teachers