Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The best and worst of being a teacher!

The best thing for me has to be...

'The desire to inspire,
to light the fire
that burns within,
the 'aha' in the expression
when something clicks -
that’s the reward
for hours and hours
of work and patience,
a reward of infinite measure,
a priceless, unlimited treasure.'

And the worst? Well, it could be the lack of time or the fact that senior management 'on the canvas they paint' continually

'brush out what they
don’t want to see,
quickly forgetting,
resuming old patterns
of futile activity
in the circular farce
that repeats
and plays endlessly...
in infinite vibrations.'

But in the end I’d think I’d have to go for the overemphasis in the curriculum on acquiring facts and having to be 'better' than others in order to succeed...

'surely there’s a better way
where knowledge isn’t all
and exams and syllabuses
don’t hold indomitable sway,
where the idol of competition is overthrown,
independent thought comes into its own
and where the seeds of cooperation
can at last be sown?'

Copyright © 2008 Helena Harper
(all excerpts from my book It's a Teacher's Life...!)

How about you? If you are or have been a teacher, what is or was the best and worst thing for you about the job?


  1. Well, I'm not a poet. But the best thing for me about teaching was seeing my at-risk students scared to death about chemistry, and then little by little, gaining confidence that they could do it! And then they weren't scared anymore.
    The worst thing was administration. I had one principal tell me, "Don't bother with these knuckleheads. They aren't going anywhere anyway."

  2. Thank you, Elizabeth, for your comment. Poetry isn't required! I agree that it is very satisfying to see students gain in confidence and start to believe in themselves. As for administration - well, they're a breed unto themselves!

    Take care!