A hike is often filled with inspiration,
But this hike mirrored school education.
With a pace so fast, it made my head spin,
As all became lost to what could have been.
Tree roots and rocky terrain were under my feet,
Adding challenge to make my steps more complete.
Trees of all sizes—short, medium, and tall
Some standing upright; some about to fall.
Like children in a classroom, different and unique
Some foundations were strong, some shaky, some weak.
There were green leaves, yellow leaves, brown leaves dead,
Some fully nourished and some underfed.
I tried to observe and to take it all in,
Like a curious mind not stuffed in a bin.
At first, I strolled near the front of my pack.
But before long, I fell far to the back.
As I trudged uphill to keep up with my team,
My energy dwindled; I began to lose steam.
Details were no longer those noticed before.
My zeal to observe and to learn were no more.
My mind grew weary wanting to be done
Because I no longer was having much fun.
Frustrated annoyance settled in me
The hike was no longer all it should be.
A bench up ahead called for me to come rest,
But there was no time just like days when we test.
Reaching the top, I breathed a sigh of relief,
So glad it was over yet struck with much grief.
For I had missed lots that I wanted to see,
Missed so much learning that could no longer be.
When we traipsed downhill near the end of our hike,
There were many dead leaves and weeds in my sight.
Like so many children being left behind,
From the fast-moving pace that’s crammed in their mind.
But up ahead was an area of hope.
There wasn’t an uphill or downhill slope.
Black-eyed Susans painted the open field.
Making me smile and causing me to yield.
Their gold and yellow beauty enjoying the sun
Like large groups of children having loads of fun.
As I looked all around at that field of dreams,
I thought about learning and all that it means.
A time to explore and a time to connect.
A time to discover and time to reflect.
Not dashing on a trail or racing to the top
Or caving to pressures with no time to stop.
So each day you hike, whether indoors or out,
Take time to remember what learning’s about.
Give your students more time to take in the view,
Take time to know them and for them to know you.
Acknowledge diversity of all those around,
Encourage and help them rise up from the ground.
The demands of teaching cause so much strife,
Because we ignore the standards of life.
So whenever you hike, slow down your pace.
Don’t rush too fast, and don’t make it a race.
Open your eyes to the beauty around.
Open your mind and let learning abound.