“I am not your Mother or your Slave, I am your Teacher” The Sunday Whirl # 54

Girls in the classroom
primp and preen,
squandering intractable minutes,
with pewter-shaded phrases on
the classroom clock;
(ticking away)

following an alley of eyes,
at times green or indifferent;
how do I accommodate this
flock of children?

Boys in the classroom
talk a sea of soccer … and
who is the favourite this year
I walk their lane, retrieving
trading cards until the end of
class
(frowning away)

The sun rises higher,
beating its glare into my morning;
it’s only Monday, I sigh …

process notes: I wrote this from the inspired poem written by our Brenda. When I read hers, it made me stop and think about the children in Mexico. Not living in the America for over ten years now, I don’t really think about how different the children are here, that is until I read Brenda’s poem. My kids are privileged, and trust me, they can be quite the handful for that reason alone. Gossiping is the highlight for the sixth grade girls and soccer is the topic for the sixth grade boys. I have been assigned the task of giving them creative writing assignments. Let me tell you, it is hard to break their habit of writing run-on sentences.

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37 responses to ““I am not your Mother or your Slave, I am your Teacher” The Sunday Whirl # 54

  1. Run on sentences can provide fodder for line breaks in poetry. Here’s a thought. If one of their run ons is somewhat poetic, put into a poem form and share it with the class. Nothing inspires them like praise for their work. Use it against them, for them…if you know what I mean. Some weeks are longer than others. I appreciate the glimpse into your teaching world, Pamela. Thank you for sharing the wealth. 😉

    • Brenda, that is an excellent idea. I have some kids who show true writing potential. Considering English isn’t their first language, I have been quite impressed with some of them. There are however, some who moan and groan at the mere thought of writing with proper spelling and punctuation. I told one of my boys, Santiago, “Look at it this way, I am preparing you for the outside world and the possibility of becoming a good writer”. He just sighed and said “Okay”. 🙂

      • Encouragement works, keep after them. You have affluence on your side, and likely expectations of work completion for school at home. If they know you are impressed, they will want to perform.

  2. I love this, Pamela, but I always do your story poems. The image of your classroom is strong.

  3. I empathize. I taught 6th grade for a while. Not an easy age with raging hormones. I enjoyed your slice-of-your-life poem.

  4. Mary, I wouldn’t say they are my favourite group, they are so darn hard to please. My third graders are a delight, as they are at an advanced level of English (as is sixth). My fourth graders are a completely different matter. They are at a basic level, I seem to spend more time trying to calm them down. Many of them don’t understand half of what I say. I don’t use Spanish in the classroom.

  5. “Pewter-shaded phrases” and “The sun rises higher,
    beating its glare into my morning” are wonderful lines. Sorry the words gave you trouble.

    I enjoyed learning a bit about your life. Good teachers can have such a positive, profound influence on young people. You are definitely one of the good ones, Pamela!

    ONLY ONE MORE!!!

  6. I can only imagine the patience a teacher must employ, imagine because I know I do not have it. Well done.

  7. It takes a whole lot of guts these days to be a teacher. They and the medical profession are worth every single penny they earn and then some.
    Nice wordle Pamela.

  8. Bren, I don’t make nearly enough money. Especially when they give me a hard time, lol. Thanks.

  9. Bless you, Pamela. You paint the classroom scene so well…

  10. Love the second stanza – the “alley of eyes.” I’ve never taught, but this gave me a clear picture of what it must be like.

    I also like how you separated the girls’ and boys’ stanzas – a perfect reflection of that age, when genders are as distinct as two different planets. Nice work, Pamela.

  11. Kelly, every moment with them is an adventure, to be sure. In sixth grade they sit on opposite sides of the room and they are extremely competitive. Thanks.

  12. lol you get to teach occassionally right? smiles…i dont envy your position….i was a teacher for a few years…i dunno i would not mind it but….

    • Brian, for ten years I have been teaching mainly young adults and adults. I have sporadically taught children along the way. This is completely different, I am in the school from 8 to 4. It is not easy work at all, my friend.

  13. Pamela, as usual, your work seems effortless as it flows through its dance of steps. I know that it isn’t, but the seeming so really feels good, lol. I taught adults, but your classroom is so clearly delineated that I felt I was there, which unnerved me a bit ( I always said it takes a better person than I am to do what you do). Thank you for this clear glimpse into your everyday my friend,

    Elizabeth

    • Elizabeth, these words sat round for a day and a half. I had no real direction with them, until I read Brenda’s poem and I had a eureka moment.
      Then I knew what I wanted to write, and actually it came quite quickly. Thank you.

  14. My sister is a career teacher and after listening to her tell me of some of her classroom experiences she would more than understand every word of this post. Revealing but so true.

  15. Wonderful write teacher! Like Kelly, I really liked the break between the girls and the boys. Your writing always brings me a clear picture. Well done- hope you are ready for a new week to begin, xo teri

  16. Pamela, you and Brenda make me wish I had written a school poem. Alas, I did not. But both of yours are wonderful. I love “at time green or indifferent” and “talk a sea of soccer”. Such great images and observations. And the ending… oh, so true.

    Richard

  17. It is true, isn’t it, Richard? I love your school poems. Thanks for the nice comment.

  18. Pamela, Your words flowed effortlessly to create a wonderful pieces of writing.

  19. Do you create your own wordles, suitable for their age?

  20. Kids these days are more informed. Facilities are available. Gadgets at their finger tips. And they are outspoken. Your verse said so too. It must be pretty challenging, Pam! Great write!

    Hank

  21. I had move yet once again and started 6th grade as the newbie. Horrid to step into already set cliques. In our area a few years back they took 6th grade out of the middle school and put it in a separate wing of the elementary school. A tough age indeed. As many have said before me, a fine wordle indeed. (Did I read in another comment you made… that you like birds…if so you might enjoy this:
    http://julesgemsandstuff.blogspot.com/2012/04/sorcery.html )

  22. I love the “talk a sea of soccer” image.
    It’s iteresting to compare your class and Brenda’s. Yours is so much closer to my own memories.

  23. Barb, this culture is much more innocent. But then there is the other side of coin with the horrid things happening at the border, which is anything but innocent. However, this place is fairly isolated. You rarely hear about violence here, an occasional robbery and that, but nothing more really.

I appreciate all comments.

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