my voice is hoarse from a discussion–
 vibrant questions popping up all around,
 a cacophony of comments
 reaching full engagement
 it makes me remember why
 why i wake at 4:44,
 why i’ve given up weekends,
 why i plan all summer
 and come home each day
 ready to drop dead from
 an exhaustion so deep
 it reaches into my soul
 “this is a great topic, Miss.”
 “what a question–so hard to answer.”
 “today i actually like this class.”
 today i actually like my job.
 because those early hours,
 lost weekends, lack of summer break,
 they all pop up around me,
 a cacophony of opportunity
 to be the teacher i strive to be


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