Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

poem-choose honey, hon March 9, 2017

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 1:23 pm
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You think

if you swell your chest

and shout with a voice that covers others’

if you argue

every word from the teacher’s mouth

that somehow you can win.

Oh, but hon,

who really has the power?

Consequences grow with your defiance

and you’re the one who loses.

The class laughs,

but it’s at you, not with you.

Biliousness and lies do not lead to success.

Trust me,

honey catches the flies

of achievement and respect.



poem-running November 26, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:39 pm
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“I’m just running away,” you say.




Escape is a good idea.

If a tyrannosaurus is after you

or a smaller villain of equal viciousness, for example.

(You know what they say about sticks and stones).

Run today,

But keep your eyes open for future alternatives.

There’s a lot of meat in a tyrannosaurus;

harvesting offers its challenges,

but I have faith in you.



poem-bully the victim March 19, 2015

Filed under: Poetry — Shawn L. Bird @ 2:50 pm
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Everyone thinks they’ve been bullied.

Everyone has had someone say something mean

been called a rude name

felt misunderstood

felt completely unseen

felt left out of the game.

Growing up means learning that not everyone thinks you’re great.

Growing up means knowing you’ll get called out when you’re weird.

Social correction.

Don’t be so intense, trying to fit everyone inside your fence

If they’re just being nice, don’t make them want to slice

their wrists rather than interact with you

Social rejection

is a natural reaction to those things you do.

Social conversation

starts out small, don’t demand their all

Everyone has met the kid that’s on the bullhorn

the irritating thorn who blames everyone for the scorn

he invites himself.  If you want deep contact

don’t start combat if interaction contracts.

If you want a friend

Be a friend.

The end.



A few years ago, I was overheard a conversation between a Special Education teacher and a new student on the autism spectrum who was visiting the high school in preparation for attending the following year.  She explained to him that in high school, if he was doing something inappropriate as a grade 8 student with poor social skills, a grade 12 would call him on it, and that wasn’t bullying, that was social correction.  It was probably the most effective way for him to realize his own responsibility for the irritations of others; social correction was an enlightening concept for him.   There’s a line here.  Some behaviour is not appropriate!  It’s important that bullies receive just as much social correction as ‘victims’ do.  “We don’t treat each other like that” goes both ways.   To other students, the student in question was a bully, in the way he monopolized the class room with irrelevant questions or self-indulgent narratives.  He impacted them negatively, and they retained the right to tell him he needed to be quiet.  He responded better to students than teachers giving the same message.  What do you think?  Is there such a thing as ‘social correction’ or is any negative feedback just a form of ‘bullying?’


standing up to bullies February 28, 2012

All around my school are posters advertising February 29th as the day students are to wear Pink Shirts as a way to take a stand against bullying.

We teach our kids that they need to stand up for themselves and for their friends when they are under attack.  We teach our kids that it is wrong to try to force ideas and opinions without reasoned discourse.  We teach our kids to show respect to those who are different from themselves, whether they agree with them or not.  We teach our kids how to negotiate a fair solution when they have a disagreement with their peers.

In light of this week’s anti-bullying message, watching the BC Provinicial government’s bullying tactics toward teachers is rather ironic.  This week they are trying to force teachers to accept an imposed contract, refusing to either negotiate or to have neutral mediator negotiate on their behalf.

It’s a  lesson in irony.

Teachers believe in equity.  We stand up to bullies.  We have to, in order to be role models for our students.  When we stand with our friends against bullying behavior, bullies back down.  Right?

My pink shirt this Wednesday, February 29th is going to have several layers of meaning, as I do what I can to stand up for those who are bullying me and my colleagues.


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