Teaching Forever

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Sometimes I think I can teach forever.
Sometimes the dark circles under my eyes
tell me that it’s foolish to try to teach one more hour.
Last night the angels of sleep
abandoned me,
interrupted my erotic dream,
laughed at me in my distress!
Now it’s five o’clock Monday morning
and I’m propping up my head with one hand
while writing this lament with the other.
I’d like to forget my lesson plans
and start reading a good book
until I fall asleep again,
waking up around noon
to write fragments of poetry
or a letter to a friend.
Instead, I have to eat breakfast, shower
and change into something suitable for work.
Then I have to drag my weary body
into my classroom where sixteen sullen students
with learning disabilities
will watch me impassively as I try to teach them
about figurative language:
Simi—what? Meta—who? Personifi—why?
We don’t care.

Is their theft of my time worth it,
their theft that leaves me wasted?
Today, probably not.
But tomorrow or the day after
something might change.
And that is the hope that keeps me going,
the grace that spurs me on,
even when all the light is gone
and all I want to do
is crawl back under the covers.

 

© 2015 by Magical Mystical Teacher
 
 
More Poetry Pantry #272
 
More Sunday’s Whirligig #27
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Posted on October 4, 2015, in poetry, Poets United, Sunday's Whirligig, The Poetry Pantry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. I like this new format Magical – if it is autobiographical i felt it – one word – sick day..although i am sure those sixteen students would miss you as perhaps you would them after more than one day

  2. Ah, as a former teacher, I know that sometimes those days are thankless. And sometimes it is hard to try to inspire enthusiasm in children who just don’t want to be inspired. But you are right….there are days that it is all worth while, when something just clicks and the students’ minds are on fire! May you have many of those days this year. By the way, come to Midweek Motif on Wednesday…there is a ‘teacher/teaching’ theme.

  3. So true. Hope really keeps us going in life. Beautifully written 🙂

  4. hang on there, you’re doing a great job 🙂

  5. Much inspirations as you do what you love, and love what you do! I’d teach forever too….

  6. could feel this drudgery with all my heart then suddenly read those beautiful lines of light..”the grace that spurs me on, / even when all the light is gone”…love this hope and illumination….

  7. Hail Magical Mystical Teacher, full of grace, blessed is the fruit of thy pen.

  8. This is so different, and I truly love this piece.. I hope and think that among your students you would find the poets of the future. Might be some doors that are being unlocked, and you never know what might come out from that.

  9. Thank heaven for “the grace that spurs me on”……..the days when a light shines in a student’s eyes, who really “gets” what you are trying to teach, or a smile from one proud of a good test mark, or a well done page. I applaud your strength in climbing out of bed on such tired mornings as the one described, and showing up. Maybe they’d smile in commiseration if you told them how hard it is to get up on such mornings……..you’re all in the same boat! Loved this. Yay for teachers!

  10. scotthastiepoet

    Yes, having got to the end of comments – I find I’m exactly with Sherry here – ‘the grace that spurs us on…” That is what it is all about… Great writing… With Best Wishes Scott http://www.scotthastie.com

  11. It’s the Light in their eyes! Yes, and yes we are the ones who could read then sleep then write and read some more. And because of teachers like you–those children have a chance to enjoy life that much (and more) someday! This narrative poem captures the two sides of weekday mornings quite well.

  12. Love this biographical piece. I loved teaching and it really is something I miss often. So glad I took the chance and found the grace within that experience. Your students may not show it, but they will remember long afterward. They are the reason and the purpose. You are an inspiration for so many of us, and we do know how lucky we are.

    Elizabeth
    https://soulsmusic.wordpress.com/2015/10/04/the-gap-between-belief-and-experience/

  13. How we all must go through that time of questioning why we do what we do. Hopefully something will stick in their minds and one day they will remember you and be glad that you were there.

  14. It is that grace spurring us on as teachers that keeps us showing up….I feel your want of staying in bed. Just beginning my second year of retirement, I am still recovering from 30+ years trying to find that grace to spur me on now.

  15. teachers are some of the most dedicated people out there. hang on, the rewards will start coming.

  16. I am thankful for the teachers that took the time and felt the grace to spur me on. I hope you continue to be inspired and to inspire.

  17. Cool… and well written

  18. Oh a lovely change from your beautiful haiku., Enjoyed this and that’s good solid work, trying to work with children with learning challenges. Am sure they’ll benefit from your efforts.

  19. Things can only get better! I face 32 students daily, but happily, sullen they are not!
    Check out my Whirligigle!

  20. Happy Teacher’s day; this is perfect for Monday WRites

    have a good week

    much love…

  21. That you keep going will be appreciated by them later even if the don’t now. Experience is a great teacher in this case.

  22. I like the honest glimplse of your experience. It must be discouraging at times to teach those who seem not to care. But you care, enough to push yourself with hope. Thank you for that, for doing your best to educate even those who have difficulty learning. I really enjoyed this write.

  23. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade)

    I hope you can find the right balance – and that your hopes are rewarded.

  24. Wow. A different voice. And yet I hear every word very clearly. I used to get up early and teach a differently-abled student in a pre-school.
    That seems like another life time. Well it was over twenty, thirty, forty years ago. And he was making progress. Until his father who refused to see his child’s abilities and the day care center where he was refused to continue the child’s education.

    These day’s I teach my grandchildren. And attempt to teach myself… an ongoing process.

    May you find the strength to continue that which makes you happy.

    And Erotic was a twisty word. And my story which I am still not sure of the time set, could be in the Victorian era. Well there was quite a bit of disconnect with truth and reality between the classes.

    Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Jules.

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