Editor’s Note: This is a poem by Pablo Pitcher DeProto, a teacher who attended the Inclusion, Equity and Opportunity Summit held in Chicago in December. He read this poem at the conclusion of the summit.

I Teach to Lead

Not a new, but an obvious breed

Hey, my students need to read

Teachers, Teaching, Education

These colors, minds set to bleed

Together, never say I can’t


Educated and miseducated here

Face the music, find your fear

Happy versus meaningful

A load of bull, both and

Yes we can


Consistently listen

A common mission

If you say students are poor

You already shut one door


Relationships primary, data secondary

Where we value students feel safe

Wait, the white rhino confronts the white elephant

Need to vent, the state of education went

To the edge but we’re still here

Teaching, teaching cruel realities

Six words

Students, Families, Community, Differentiated

Targeted, Free


Lessons learned, lies heard

Say the word

It’s simple logic on

A complicated topic


Respect teachers

Caring, creative, complex creatures

It should look like your thoughts

No ifs, ands, don’ts or knots

Input, output, activities, outcomes

All the fingers, not just the thumb

Placing students as number 1

Educators: Get it done!


Pablo Pitcher DeProto
Pablo Pitcher DeProto (Mr. Pablo) is a 2nd grade dual language teacher in Oakland, CA. He uses poetry, hip-hop, and singing to connect his students with the material.