The learning fire

cold cold classroom
how can anyone learn
teacher, wrapped in a blanket
kids wearing their coats

the teacher lights a fire
as good teachers always do
in some way or another
even if this one gives no warmth

it calms them, she says,
just the sound of it
popping and sparking—
like magic, the children get to work

the fire blazes, there on the screen
bright and merry, not consuming
—if not brought by Prometheus himself,
certainly sent through his Board

Lulling the learning: A Promethean Board casts its calming spell
in a cold classroom while the heat is repaired.

7 thoughts on “The learning fire

  1. Genius. Did this happen just recently? I LOVE how you can capture this in a poem. Needs a broader audience, just sayin’, friend. Honestly I love it. And maybe it wouldn’t work for long, Cuddl Duds under clothes are the real “bomb” ie balm for chilly or frigid days. I live in them. Many varieties over the years but I most prefer the ones with some kind of a “silky” feel so they don’t tug on your clothes. I know Kohl’s has a lot of them……Am curious what your “cold” days average. We can get pretty bitter cold where I live, though I grew up outside NYC which while cold is a lot milder than my home area now!! Hugs for warmth! Warming up to write that way could be interesting, too even on a non-frigid day!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes – this “learning fire” was crackling away on the Promethean Board when I went to attend a PLT meeting last week, The room was so cold and I was enchanted by the teacher’s realization that it calmed the children and helped them focus on their work. The ingenuity of teachers is nothing short of magical. As is a merry little fire in the fireplace, even if virtual! Many thanks, Janet.

      Liked by 1 person

    • This year is beyond exhausting for teachers and yet they keep carrying on for the kids. We were in a PLT meeting when I took the photo, entranced by the teacher’s story of the fire sounds comforting the kids although it obviously offered no warmth. I couldn’t let Promethean and fire go unconnected. It was too good.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Fran, teachers are magicians, heroes, friends, nurses, counselors, … I love this poem! I love how you captured the teacher as a magician in this stanza “it calms them, she says,
    just the sound of it
    popping and sparking—
    like magic, the children get to work” and how you show the kids responded. I remember having to wear my coat in school as a child a few times, but that was a long time ago. Love that photo and how the teacher’s story inspired you to write this poem. Teachers are creative poets, also. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. When I read this metaphorically now…..I see a whole new picture. Illuminating. And horrifying, too. I could not teach every day wrapped in a mask, in a cold methodical, proscribed classroom curriculum. I know there are so many teachers doing their utmost to warm the children with their energy. I need to remember that my situation is not what others face/have. But lighting fires in kids’ to read, write, learn well. Praise those who do.

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