I watched this video at a Jobs for America’s Graduates conference a couple of years ago. I was moved by the silence of 500 high school and middle school students as they listened intently to this spoken word poem about a man who grew out of a childhood of being bullied, being a bully and a whole slew of other things that typically make us depressed or angry.
I took this video back to my classroom and of all the music videos we have watched, this year in particularly, my students have responded most positively to this song and most other spoken word poems set in front of a beautiful cascade of quiet music. The story that Shane Koyczan weaves has made some of my students laugh, cry, and think.
If you are a teacher, or, if you have some angsty teens that seem to have coping problems, play this video. It’s deep, and introduces a level of understanding to kids victimized by endless taunting and teasing that the typical “sticks and stones” limerick never could.