Twisted Sister

I grew up in a household filled with music.  LPs, 45s, 8-tracks, cassettes and CDs were purchased and played over and over again. And although my parents preferred Country and Western music (we all knew the words to every Charley Pride, Glen Campbell, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ song)  there was always a wide range of genres playing.   Like most households in the ‘70s, we went through the Disco era “hustling” to the Bee Gees, Donna Summer and Abba.

The ‘80s echoed with Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and Prince. images  The ‘90s ushered in the sounds of New Country and Shania, Garth and Tim McGraw became household names.   And although there may have been a few “favourites”, as identified by mom and dad which were released this century, I’m not sure that they sang along with too many Lady Gaga, Pink or Britney Spears hits.

So needless to say, they have a vast playlist with which to draw upon during conversations and Trivia Pursuit games. But invariably, when my dad is looking to make a musical reference, the long standing comical entry line revolves around “Twisted Sister” in a similar fashion to my entry point to any football conversation usually beginning with a Jim Plunkett reference.

So this morning as I was enjoying the final few minutes of warmth and silence under the covers, the alarm sounded and Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” cut the silence and my day started.  I automatically smiled as this song always reminds me of my dad. But then I listened more intently to the lyrics.

“We’ve got the right to choose and
There ain’t no way we’ll lose it
This is our life, this is our song
We’ll fight the powers that be just
Don’t pick our destiny ’cause
You don’t know us, you don’t belong”

And although the story line supporting the song is about a father/son relationship, there is certainly an “anthem” for student voice throughout the song and I couldn’t help but wonder if we need to continue to provide our students with reminders that they do have the right to choose and to remind our teachers that at the end of the day, the most powerful tool they have in their toolkit is the one that ensures that they truly know their students.

There’s nothing like a challenge from Dee Snider and his band to start one’s day thinking about how we can ensure that we are always doing what is in the best interests of our students.








Songs are powerful.  Do you have a favourite “anthem”?

Come write with me….

6 thoughts on “Twisted Sister

  1. Student voice and autonomy within the classroom also helps build a great class profile: are the students able to express themselves individually but also as a collective?

    I think building success critera, developing learning goals, creating classroom rules and a mantra all help express student concerns and focus. Also, it helps advertise with visual proof and implementation that their own personal stakes in learning are of great importance (“the teacher does care about what I care about”/”that’s what I suggested because it’s important”).

    My class knows I love the Bee Gees (the greatest group of all time) but a great anthem for student voice, choice and autonomy is “I don’t want to be” by Gavin DeGraw:

    “I don’t want to be
    Anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately
    All I have to do is think of me and I have a peace of mind
    I’m tired of looking ’round rooms
    Wondering what I’ve got to do
    Or who I’m supposed to be
    I don’t want to be anything other than me”

  2. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Sue. Clearly we are of an age!
    My anthem is Titanium by David Guetta feat. Sia.
    I’m bulletproof, nothing to lose
    Fire away, fire away
    Ricochet, you take your aim
    Fire away, fire away
    You shoot me down but I won’t fall
    I am titanium
    You shoot me down but I won’t fall
    I am titanium
    Started as my gym/workout song, but I’d like to think applies to my life in general–being strong and persevering, especially when faced with a challenge(s). The ability to persevere is something we want to see in all our students.

  3. Sue,

    You are right that the connections we have to music can be very powerful. I tens towards an eclectic taste in music. Lately I have been listening to a lot of City and Colour, Sia and Trevor Hall. The “anthem” that is ringing in my head most lately is Trevor Hall’s Unity … These lyric stick in my head:
    Love all serve all and create no sorrow
    So many rivers but they all reach the sea
    They telling me he’s different but I just don’t believe it
    Love is the glorious and everyone shall reach it
    Who ever seeks it
    Seen and unseen

    I don’t want a reason anymore about the one I love, the one I love
    I don’t want a reason anymore about God above, God above
    I just want to melt away, in all His grace
    Drift away, into that sacred place
    Where there’s no more you and me, no more they and we, just unity, just unity

    For me this holds true when I am approaching students and this year host teachers. We are all coming from a different place, with diverse backgrounds and experiences. But, let’s leave our differences behind, find our common ground and love one another. Find Unity on our paths forward. Who knows what we will create together!


  4. I tried to think of a song that might make sense of the whole notion of a child’s voice and possibly even choice. Then I wondered about Natasha Bedingfield and the song Unwritten (think a blog has this title). I looked for the song on you tube and also found this description.
    ” Bedingfield wrote this for her brother on his birthday as a birthday gift because she was short on cash. It’s about living life to the fullest, not planning everything because you never know what may happen. Each day is a blank page and it is up to you to fill it. This song conveys the idea of keeping our eyes open for all the possibilities in our Lives.”

  5. We also need to remind ourselves that student choice is not exactly the same as student voice. Giving our students choices about how to present their information is good…but it is even better if we involve them in deciding what the choices might be.

    My favourite anthem comes from Bon Jovi….”It’s my life, and it’s now or never…I ain’t’ gonna live forever”. Sort of goes with student voice as well.

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