I studied “The Sound of Silence” with my students
on the very first day of my teaching career.
I thought about how I wanted them to break the silence,
and share the “songs” they’ve been writing with the world.
We talked about worshiping the “neon gods” in our lives;
about how we have the power to turn away
and make something of ourselves.
We decided that our expressions may not find themselves
being studied in classrooms or housed in books –
“subway walls” and “tenement halls”
may always be the proper venues for our thoughts –
and yet we are all “prophets,”
whose experiences, ideas, and lives are valuable,
are full of meaning;
We decided we all compose songs, but few of us ever dare
disturb the silence and face our fears of failure.
And I thought about the silence that stifles me sometimes,
the dark, endless silence that’s covered
with those heavy, abstract words
that embody the fears that so often quiet me:
rejection, doubt, fear, insecurity…
I thought about the silence in which I shroud myself,
that sometimes so completely covers me
that wonder if I may have lost all hope
of untangling myself from its clutches.
We thought and talked,
first at a whisper,
unsure if we could speak at all,
then louder and louder –
and with more conviction
as our ideas were praised
and echoed in the wells of silence –
then louder still, and more confidently
until we became a chorus of bright voices
each singing our own melody in unison and
drowning out the sound
I am excited to announce that I began my career as an English Teacher on Monday! I am so excited to me working with the students at Veiwmont High School in Bountiful, Utah. I am teaching 11th grade, 11th grade honors, and creative writing! Jumping into my first year between terms has been challenging so far. I was hired last week, and I set foot in my classroom for the very first time on Monday, so you can imagine how stressed I’ve been, scrambling around trying to get everything ready.
One of my objectives for this first week (besides making it out alive on the other side) was to help my students begin to understand how literature and creative writing can positively affect their lives. As I thought about how to teach this concept, my mind was drawn to the Disturbed cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence.” There are many possible interpretations of this song, but I believe one of the best is simply that we all have a story to share. To me, this song is about breaking the silence that we’ve become accustomed to. It’s about not being afraid to stand up and speak out about what’s important to us.
I hope that they are beginning to understand, but if not, this idea is so fundamental to who I am that they’ll be getting plenty more of it throughout the remainder of the school year .
This is what I did it all for. This is what is was all about!
I am so excited to be a teacher!