Whatif

Hiding behind my classroom door,

But longing to do something more.

Speaking, writing, teaching, leading,

Something real, not just dreaming.

But amid my thoughts mingled my fears,

And Whatifs whispering in my ear.

Whatif

(a poem for teacher leaders)

 

Hiding behind my classroom door,

But longing to do something more.

Speaking, writing, teaching, leading,

Something real, not just dreaming.

But amid my thoughts mingled my fears,

And Whatifs whispering in my ear.

 

Whatifno one likes your plans?

Whatif you only think you can?

Whatif your story doesn’t ring true?

Whatif you can’t follow through?

Whatif they ask something you don’t know?

Whatif you speak and they answer SO?”

Whatif your vision no one else can see?

Whatif you’re just a leader “wanna-be”?

 

Whatif, Whatif, went on their chant.

Whatif you just accept you can’t?

 

That is when I realized,

Whatifshad kept me paralyzed.

And not just me, other teachers too

Who’d listened when told they had to choose.

Either teach OR lead, you can’t do both

Why even entertain false hope?

 

I thought awhile, then made a plan

To silence that old Whatif band.

 

WhatifI can lead AND teach?

Whatifmy classroom doesn’t define my reach?

Whatifmy voice joins with others here?

Whatifthere’s really nothing to fear?

WhatifI stepped out of my comfort zone?

Whatifteachers worked together, not alone?

Whatifyou see the teacher leader in YOU?

Whatif “what if” could mean something new?

 

What teacher leadership now means to me

Makes Whatif ripe with possibilities.

 

(With grateful thanks to Shel Silverstein who wrote the original “Whatif “poem and taught me that poetry could be fun)

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