Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Keith Leonard

My students want certainty. They want it

so badly. They respect science and have memorized

complex formulas. I don’t know

how to tell my students their parents

are still just as scared. The bullies get bigger

and vaguer and you cannot punch a cloud.

I have eulogies for all my loved ones prepared,

but cannot include this fact in my lesson plans.

The best teacher I ever had told me to meet him

at the basketball court. We played pick-up for hours.

By the end, I lay panting on the hardwood

and couldn’t so much as stand.

He told me to describe the pain in my chest.

I tried. I couldn’t find the words. Not exactly.

Listen, he said, that’s where language ends.


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