Monday, December 8, 2014

This is where I leave you

This is where I pick you up:
braces, glasses, zits - day one:
you barely look at each other
but would still tell a tale of being
closely studied -

someone must have noticed
your lazy eye,
or protruding ears,
you being too thin,
you being too fat.

How on Earth can anyone fit this seat?
How does one manage not to make a fool of oneself?
What if the teacher asks me a question I cannot answer? 
Who in this class will want to be friends with me?
What if I I don't understand while everyone else does?

This is where I pick you up:
spelling, verb to be, classroom language - day one:
you speak in, you are afraid to make mistakes
that can get you laughed at
because people laugh.

They laugh when you mispronounce 'pocket'
when you invent words like 'father saint' or 'Daddy Noel'
when you can't get a sentence straight
when you don't know what to say about vegetarianism
because you do like meat.

This is where I pick you up:
reading, listening, speaking - day one:
Do we really need grammar?
Can I exceed the 45-word limit?
I haven't done my homework.

Will they learn it? I ask myself.
Will they like it? I ask myself.
They will hate mostly everything,
because they are teenagers,
that's what teenagers do.

Music, drama, movies.
Dancing, drawing, collaging.
Grammar. (Yes, you need it. Because you do.)
Good morning, this is an English-only environment.
You are required to use English here.

News. Discuss it. Global warming. Teenage behavior. War.
News.  I won't take 'I don't know as an answer, young man'.
News. Because I want to hear your opinion about it.

I have lost track of the days
(you're acquainted with my bad memory).
You're so grown up,
This is when you leave me.
This is where I leave you.

(a poem for the 12 teenagers who sat in my classroom for the past 6 years, and leave today. I'll add a photo later on.)

A song to follow Hope - RTQN


  1. six years with the same teenagers.. wonderful to see them.. they must have been transformed into adults to be. How hard to see them go..

  2. I love this, the POV from the teacher side of things. Also love the repetition of this is where I pick you up . . . until they are gone. It must be hard saying goodbye after six years.

  3. No one but a fellow teacher can know that exquisite pain of saying goodbye to children you have nurtured into adulthood, who never belonged to you. Could you love them any more than on that final day?

  4. Really. Lovely. I'm sure you are embedded upon their hearts as well.

  5. I wish I would have appreciated all of those subjects and my various teachers during my school days. It's great to see this from a teacher's perspective.

  6. Anonymous12/16/2014

    I am *certain* they will carry you all their days ~