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Friday 30 September 2011

Two Teachers : 1


This was a lesson
on the teaching of science
by a man much older than I.
About to retire, or so I'd assumed -
but didn't write that in my book.

I was a student
about to aspire -
though I wouldn't do that,
not really and truly,
until I'd a class of my own.

This class was unruly.
I'd seen them before;
they lived on the apex of havoc,
and knew all the angles to try.
"You'll need a strong voice," I was told.

But I was a student,
just there to observe
and to note all I'd learned in my book.
But what could I write?
It seemed so remote - a mere trifling thing.

With the class on the cusp
he would lower his voice
to the ghost of a whisper - by which
he would kill all the mischief at source.
Not a sound or a movement there'd be.

I thought at the time:
it's the sum, is it not,
of all you acquire
from a lifetime of talk
and facing them down.

But was it experience, that and no more
than the confidence gained
that could let you ignore
all the tricks of the trade
that our lecturers taught?

I made up my mind:
that man was my goal.
I'd have signed him, I know,
had the contracts been there -
his patent, mine own.

And now I'm retired
I think of him often,
when I think about schools:
why something so simple
could not work for me.

Teacher number 2 tomorrow.


Cloudia said...

character study extraordinaire-

Aloha from Waikiki;

Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >

jabblog said...

Each teacher finds his or her own way. We can observe and admire someone else's technique but it doesn't always suit our temperament.

sunny said...

hi Mr king.you wrote a beautiful poem,you know that teaching is such a great profession in the whole world as teachers are like a second parents.as it is well said,there are two parents,one who gave birth and other who tells how to live,and teachers are those who tells how to live in this world.keep it up.

Mary said...

As a former teacher myself, I occasionally used that technique...sometimes with / sometimes without success. The trick is to vary the techniques, I found. Anything overused (at least for me) soon loses its effect. And with some groups NOTHING works. LOL.

Rachna Chhabria said...

As a new teacher, who has been teaching from just more than a year, I am still trying to find that balance.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Dave, my thirty year experience as a teacher doesn't allow me to imagine a solution or an appropriate answer to the very engaging "predicament" or simply situation this poem presents.
What I can say is that there are infinite and indefinite currents interweaving between a teacher and a class and when students are havoc everything requires titanic efforts and teaching can become the hardest job of all. But in this difficulties small achievemnts can be felt as an Eldorado and it's all that's needed to keep on going and some techers and more lucky than others and often the basic force with which they work effectively on the students comes from beyond what the words peoduce but maybe it si pre-verbal, something like a magnetic field.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Dear Dave, sorry for the many typing mistakes!

Windsmoke. said...

During my working life i taught many apprentices and there's nothing more satisfying knowing that they've passed with flying colours and the end :-).

Dave King said...

Thanks. Teacher extraordinaire!

Absolutely. Frustrating, though, when you can't be the person you would like to be.

Hi, and a warm welcome to you. Good to have you visiting. Thank you for your very kind response.

Yes, I know that feeling, too!

The fact that you're looking for it means that you are half way there. Have a great career!

Yes, I do know the experience you are referring to. Difficult to put into words, though.Sometimes it's the partial triumph, mysteriously achieved, that makes the rough bits all worth while. Don't worry about the typos!

That is absolutely true.