A Day In The Life Of A Teacher

The following poem was written by Robyn Shulman, M.Ed. It’s dedicated to the students and teachers for the new school year. It was submitted using our new article upload tool. Please share, get inspired, and most of all get excited for the upcoming school year. Best of luck all of you amazing Edudemic readers!

A Day In The Life Of A Teacher:
A Poem Dedicated To Teachers And Students For The New School Year

By Robyn Shulman, M.Ed.

I’ve had many days like this……..

“I’ve put you on door duty, and hope you don’t mind.
Can you be down 20 minutes before the bell?
Thanks, you’re one of a kind.
Oh, and I almost forgot to inform you, we are down one sub today, so I will be sending down 5 students at 2:00.”

I pop my head in and stare at my team, as they are debating the common core.
“Sorry, can’t make our morning meeting, heading down to the door.”
“Wait!”  A co-worker screams.  “You know we are down a sub?”
“Yes, I know, I’ve already joined that club.”

Down the halls and toward the door I go.
No parent would drop off his child so early in this kind of snow.
But wait, who is that I see? A student already? It cannot be.
No boots, no hat, and a shivering little face.
I call him in to share this warm place.

To the lost and found we go, hoping to find a pair of boots, a set of gloves, anything extra for the snow.
He looks up at me, with eyes so big and so grateful.
I find him a pair of boots and a hat, and for this I am thankful.

The bell rings, the kids come flying in, and as it goes, let the drama begin.

Into our room, all 32 of us go, packed like sardines in this tiny space (more like a dorm).
I begin to call for attendance, disperse lunch tickets and collect all forms.
“Don’t forget, field trip money is due. Who didn’t bring their money? That would be about half the class, yes, half of you.”

“Eyes on the board, it is time for question of the day!
Yes, you must think about it, provide some reasoning and defend what you say!
No, the answer is not on the Internet or found in a book, cover your papers, and please, don’t give me that look.”

Reading, Math, Science and finally Art. A little free time to catch up, grade papers and…
“What? What is that you say?  Art is now on a cart?”
Oh no, the art teacher no longer has her own space.
I hear her, she’s coming down the hall angry, at a very fast pace.

No time to plan or grade today, no specials in the afternoon. I’ll take this long 20 minutes to….

“Ms. S., I forgot to tell you that I am going on vacation and will need my homework for the next 8 days.
My trip is real soon.”
“How soon is soon?”
“My mom is picking me up at noon.”

Art on a cart is on her way out. Lunchtime is on the way.
“Silent reading for 20 minutes,” I proudly say.
“Take out a book, think, imagine and read, read, read. Did I just see someone posting on friend feed?”

“No, you cannot go to the bathroom, again. Believe me, I know the game face, and I know the look.
Put your hand down, please stop talking, and open a book!”

“Before we go to lunch, I want to show you this little mailbox on my desk, where you can leave me a note. If you have anything you would like to discuss…BEEP!…Go get your coats.”

It’s time for lunch lady land, and that means no break.  I was asked to take on lunch duty this year and everyone warned me…it would be a mistake.

20 minutes to eat my soggy lunch, while I watch the kids eat and talk.
We head out to recess, finally, some time for fresh air and a short walk.

I see her, yes, it’s the teacher who insists on telling me her life story every day.
I escape to the other side of the field. How much more can she possibly have to say?

The afternoon must now be changed, as we will soon have to cram.
I think and think and think ahead, as fast as I can.

Those two will be in ESL, I will modify for the gifted, working in groups…hmmm…sounds like a plan.
Language Arts, Social Science, Spelling words and more.
An afternoon filled with work…and 37 students at my door.

The new mailbox won’t open after lunch, as it seems jammed, but how could that be?
Yes, it is, it is filled to capacity with little notes all for me.
I will take this mailbox home tonight and read every note, you’ll see.

Nouns, pronouns, adjectives and more…
A little bit of schoolhouse rock and who is at the door?

The principal has stopped by for an unannounced peek.
On a Monday, so scattered, at the beginning of the week?
She sits in the back of the room and types away on her small Mac.
The kids are unusually quiet when one student proudly says:
“Don’t worry Ms. S, we’ve got your back.”

There she goes, she’s about to leave.
Ahhh..I can finally breathe.

“Onto history we go, open your books, today we are talking about WWII.
Let’s move it, we have an entire chapter to get through.”

The ESL teacher comes in, and the reading specialist takes students out with her too.
Modifying, helping, making life changes, yes, this is what we do.

The end of the day is drawing near, and now for some quiet time, time to think clear.
On the intercom, an announcement, a reminder about the required district meeting, and I must stop by.

I gather every book, every paper, and I drop the loaded mailbox. All the notes fly.

I pick up one note to read and it states: “Ms. S, I had a great day and it was all because of you. I wanted you to know,” from your student this morning, the boy in the snow.

My feet are achy, my throat is dry, and off to the meeting I go.
I hold the note close to my heart, and now I know…Why….
I do this every day for a small amount of pay.

For kids with bright eyes filled with hopes and dreams.
For those who are new to this country, still discovering what it means.

I will get up each morning, even after the hardest of days.
I will do my best to make sure every child finds their way through this maze.

Modify work, standardized tests, classroom management and all of the rest.
As busy, stressful, hectic and overwhelming, the teaching profession is still the best.

6 Comments

  1. Robyn Shulman

    August 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I am so happy to see so many teachers enjoying this poem! Thank you for sharing it!

  2. Robyn Shulman

    August 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    You can also download a Slide Share presentation filled with images too: http://www.slideshare.net/Robyn5150/a-day-in-the-life-of-a-teacher-14055224

  3. Kristin Lems

    August 25, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    What a wonderful, evocative poem! Many of us have lived part of this – but you combine so many of the stories into one place. Yes, a teacher’s day is this dramatic every day – and we don’t always get the nice note, either! Thank you for penning this, and sharing it – how timely!

  4. Maureen Kelly

    August 28, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    This poem is the epitome of all the hats a teacher must wear. Thanks for recognizing all the challenges we must face. It’s a nice pat on the back to start the school year!

  5. Dawn

    September 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Great poem! We don’t have an art cart though…we don’t have art:(

  6. Robyn Shulman

    September 15, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Thank you Dawn. I’m sorry you don’t have art…gosh..they always take the best things away first!