Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ode to Teaching

This week's Heads or Tails theme/prompt is:

TAILS - Tell about your job (Or one you've had)

Today feels like Monday since we didn't work yesterday. I almost forgot is was Heads or Tails Tuesday! (See my name?)

I am in my 20th year of teaching intermediate school (middle school, junior high) language arts. Teaching is so different now than it was when I first started. Kids are different now than they were then. Each year we are burdened with more and more non-academic requirements. If I could just TEACH (without dealing with discipline and other issues) things would be great. Anyway, I've written this little poem to give you an ever-so-tiny, generic glimpse of life as a teacher in Texas.

Ode to Teaching

I am a teacher
five days of most weeks

I impart knowledge and skills
we “fondly” call TEKS (rhymes with reeks).

Living by bells, and schedules,
and deadlines,

I don’t do anything that
would cause me to make headlines.

Lesson plans, paperwork,
state requirements galore.

Zillions of dealines that
you can’t ignore.

Grammar, spelling, vocabulary
and more,

Reading and writing,
two things I adore.

My students leave me
knowing more than they had,

They only dislike me when
they are bad.

Accommodations and discipline

are the hardest part.

But unlike my children,
my students think I’m smart.

If only teaching
were as easy as "they" think,

When first starting out,
it’s swim with sharks or sink!

My work doesn’t stop
when I go home,

I see students and parents
wherever I roam.

I do over a year’s work
in ten month’s time,

But the amount I get
paid should be a crime.

I don't like it when a kid
acts like a jerk,

But I'm off work when my
kids are, and that's a perk.

There’s much more to it
than there’s time to tell,

I do my job,
and try to do it well.

(Actually, the pay is not as bad as people think it is.)

You can visit other Heads or Tails posts here. Thanks, Skittles, for hosting this meme!


  1. Sounds like teaching's changing the world over. Teachers in England say there's so much government bureaucracy and form filling that they struggle to find time to teach. Very rewarding profession though when you see what you've achieved.

  2. Didn't most little girls want to grow up and be a teacher or a nurse?

    I love, love, love (!) the poem you did!!!

  3. I really wish Teachers could just TEACH and that be it too, there's to much other 'junk' that goes along with teaching now and teachers aren't even paid the best to deal with it...

    You can visit my HOT HERE

  4. Gosh, congratulations on your 20 years. It's hard to imagine all of the lives you have touched, then in turn touched again when those lives touch others. Thank you for doing it.

  5. I have a great deal of respect for teachers, you have to put up with so much. And I just love that poem you wrote!

  6. A fellow Texas teacher here - I can certainly relate! I've been doing middle school Math for 11 years now. Lots of changes. Next year I'm making the big bad crossover to admin in the curriculum department. :-) Loved the poem!

  7. I just sent a link to your post to my friend who just switched from special ed to teaching a grade 3 class. I know she will appreciate it lots!

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. I love your ode, and wow 20 years that is fantastic.
    I know a number of teachers and they all mention the same things you do, but deep down they also say there is a reward that can't be gotten elsewhere.
    Keep up the good WORK!

  9. I always love your poems!!!

  10. both my parentes were teachers (ther're retired) and i can understand all the situation you described...

  11. I come from a long line of teachers - YAY for teachers.

    Take care - Kellan

  12. I'm a teacher too. Cute poem.

  13. Amen to the teaching poem!


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