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…