Lit Instructor, Stafford

In The Courage To Teach, Parker Palmer uses this Bill Stafford (former poet laureate of Oregon) poem to open a chapter titled A Culture of Fear.

Lit Instructor

Day after day up there beating my wings

with all of the softness truth requires

I feel them shrug whenever I pause:

they class my voice among tentative things,

And they credit fact, force, battering.

I dance my way toward the family of knowing,

embracing stray error as a long-lost boy

and bringing him home with my fluttering.

Every quick feather asserts a just claim;

it bites like a saw into white pine.

I communicate right; but explain to the dean—

well, Right has a long and intricate name.

And the saying of it is a lonely thing.

Tom - Speaking Engagements

Tom Vander Ark

Tom Vander Ark is the CEO of Getting Smart. He has written or co-authored more than 50 books and papers including Getting Smart, Smart Cities, Smart Parents, Better Together, The Power of Place and Difference Making. He served as a public school superintendent and the first Executive Director of Education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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