If you only knew
A chapter in the book Prosetry
The Life of a Teacher in 2016
If you read this, you will probably think that I hate my job.
The opposite is true.
I am lucky, I teach High School Choir. I have great discipline and the students respect me. I teach advanced music reading skills and complicated and wonderful repertoire. My class is a challenge that the students love to take. They respect that I have high expectations and goals so they accomplish them
(The frustration of being a teacher today, Trut me there are also a million rewards)
All teachers once were greeted with respect.
That is what our parents would expect.
We were silent when the bell rang
We waited for instruction
They called us by our last names
We caused no class destruction
We never questioned what we learned
Nor did we speak words out of turn.
We learned to read with phonics
Not some histrionics
We learned to write in cursive
We never were subversive
Addition and Subtraction we would master
We played speed games to help us learn it faster
We memorized our multiplying tables
Cartoons were Saturdays. They weren't on cable
Eventually we learned our long division
Sometimes we even spoke about religion.
We never questioned if you didn't like us
We didn't know bad words or how to cuss
When we got home we'd play outside
We'd laugh and tumble down the slide
We had homes with Mom and Dad
We knew the golden rule
We would get in trouble
If we misbehaved at school
(A different rhythm)
Curriculum now is the standardized test.
Teachers must teach to the questions.
There is no time to learn about life.
No time for thoughtful reflections.
Music class is not allowed.
Recess is forbidden.
From five years old a child must learn
to be college driven.
Common core is the new math.
It's thoroughly confusing.
Mom and Dad can't help at all.
It's really not amusing.
"Three hours for homework?"
The nine year old said,
"What are they thinking?'
"Can I go to bed?'
Now, it's the student demanding respect.
You can't discipline them. What do you expect?
They are cussing you out?
Please follow this plan.
Step one - walk away as fast as you can.
Life is so hard in their poor little lives.
Mom took their cell phone.
They might just die.
Too tired to do the assignment today?
You must understand, say it's okay.
Shorten the lesson.
Hear their confession.
Let them decide when it's due.
Asleep in your class?
Don't do what you ask?
Refer to rule two.
When student acts out refer him to counselor.
Forgive him when he throws a chair.
Student must use appropriate language
when his finger goes up in the air.
A vicious circle it becomes.
Here's the expectation.
Your school has to pass them all.
There can not be exceptions.
All students must take calculus.
They must master science.
English, writing, every child
must be in compliance.
The school's failure rate is high?
Administration must comply.
It then becomes the teachers fault
if all her students fail or fall.
The student is the last to blame.
"That teacher doesn't like me."
"They want me to know way to much."
"They do it just to spite me."
I've seen students walk the stage
who didn't come to school.
I've seen students laugh outloud
and think their really cool.
"See, I didn't do the work."
"I missed so many days."
"I still get to graduate."
"I knew they'd find a way."
If we want our schools strong.
Then let our teachers teach.
We'll help the students all we can
if it is in our reach.
It really is quite simple.
Our students need to know.
Earn your graduation.
It isn't just for show.
Now I will stop this ranting.
The ending I'll foretale.
Schools won't get better
until we let them fail.
"The Life of a............" writing prompt entry
Create a poem of any length and style, entitled "The Life of a.......". You fill in the blank with any subject. Of course you may use "The Life of an.....", according to your needs. You may use more than one word to fill the blank. Write about an interest , or concern...
My students are stressed out. "Standardized Testing" is everything. Young teachers are leaving after only one or two years on the job. Math teachers have to move on to the next skill before the first one is learned. We have what are called bench mark tests and all students must take it at the same time and move on to the next lesson whether they are ready to or not. One of my friends is a master math teacher. He likes to stay on one skill until it is mastered. He is no longer allowed to do that. He says that by the end of the year only the advanced students are still trying. He is thinking of changing professions. Law suits have made us afraid of parents and students. Teachers are blamed when a child fails even if they have missed 35 days of school. Teachers have to earn a child's respect, it is no longer automatic. Pep Rallies are at eight o'clock in the morning, when no one goes to them. Students aren't allowed to go to assemblies because they will miss academic time. Students who may be talented in singing but struggle in math are taken out of their favorite class and put in two math classes. I enjoyed high school when I was young. Now, the students can't wait to get out. This poem stresses the frustrations of teaching. I promise you there are also many rewards.
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