The Teacher’s Tale Prologue

April is National Poetry Month!

I wrote this after my first year teaching. I had my students each write a tale from a modern person modeled on The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I was 28 years old, I had taught one year of 8th grade and was teaching high school for the first time, but this event happened while teaching middle school. I found it upon organizing my old journals this past fall and made a note to myself to write it out in April in honor of National Poetry Month. Happy April!

This post will = the prologue. Next post will = the tale.

The Teacher’s Tale Prologue

I know students wonder, what do we do,

Us teachers, after hours, when we’re not in school?

Do I lock myself into my locker at night?

Crammed in with my lessons, cozy & tight?

Do I sleep at my desk? Decorate my classroom?

Do I ride in the moonlight on the back of a broom?


Well, in case you are curious, the above options are false

I have a life–yes–I do have a pulse,

The beats just as strongly after 2:32 rings,

I know–don’t be alarmed–it’s a frightening thing.

To think of Ms. U as a human being of sorts,

Not defined by grades, torturing you, and this course.


What exactly do I do when I’m not teaching this class?

When I am not busy being a pain your a**?

I have to admit, that when out at a bar

My stories of teaching can carry me far.

My friends shake their heads in pure disbelief,

I must admit that spilling my guts provides relief.


Now don’t get me wrong, I do love my job.

Even though half my students would frighten the mob…

I do have a choice in what school I teach,

And I try very hard to practice what I preach.

My selection of schools is based on my mission

And what I do with my life requires no permission.


Teaching in city schools is my practice of civil rights,

I could run to Long Island (the teacher White flight),

But I chose my workplace with a great deal of thought,

Even though the city schools with problems are wrought.

Education can empower those historically oppressed

I hope my students, one day, will breed political unrest.


But soapbox aside, I’m here to tell a tale,

And I will commence before my audience gets stale.

This story is true, I swear on my life.

At the time it caused me great trouble and strife.

But after the fact, I simply must laugh.

If I couldn’t, I’d have to slit my wrists in the bath…