Poetry Break: On Teaching

Ryan Keegan


think they know how I learn

Tell me what to do every day

Make me wanna say no way

no one can learn like this

it’s a fact.

I’d rather jump off a cliff.

this class.

creating stress in my brain

mixing my distress and shame

is it you?

trying to put knowledge in my brain

I can see right through your game

it’s the information

gained from questions


from being engaged

there is only one good way

for knowledge to be made.



What I just wrote is a poem describing the banking and inquiry based models of education. The poem that I wrote is in the student’s perspective. Throughout this piece of writing I tried to accurately describe a student’s reaction to a banking model class. This was done by saying things like “creating stress in my brain” and “mixing my distress and shame”. This shows that the student does not like what they’re doing. Another way to hammer this point home is to then break down the banking model more by saying this “there is only one good way for knowledge to be made”. Basically, what i’m saying is that the banking model is bad and inquiry is good. This is the exact point that I was attempting to make in this poem.

This poem portrays the Freire model of learning in a positive light. This was done on purpose to show how a student’s mind is naturally more attuned to the Freire model of education. Students for the most part follow the banking model of education and, in most cases, they don’t like it. That non-enjoyment causes a lack of engagement in classes and a dislike of education in general. students need to enjoy what they are doing to do well. That is the point I was trying to get across.

Being a student I have been in the educational system for many years. Throughout those years I have found that teachers usually teach towards a test. Teaching to regurgitate material is most certainly a banking model approach. This approach to learning did not benefit me at all. Many times I would space out and learn nothing and then stress like crazy before the test. This is unhealthy, both for the students and the teacher. In my experience I have found that many teachers, in fact, don’t like the banking model approach but still use it for other reasons. Teachers, in New York state at least(my home state), are evaluated on there effectiveness by pre and post tests. Therefor teachers teach to save themselves. The focus is to show improvement on paper. This is dead wrong from a moral standpoint.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Poetry Break: On Teaching by Ryan Keegan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book