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.

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Tom Vander Ark is author of Better Together, Smart Parents, Smart Cities, Getting Smart and The Power of Place. He is co-founder of Getting Smart and Learn Capital and serves on the boards of Education Board Partners, 4.0 Schools, Digital Learning Institute, Latinx Education Collaborative, Mastery Transcript Consortium and eduInnovation. Follow Tom on Twitter, @tvanderark.

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