Poetry Friday: Two poems about the life of a teacher

August 7th, 2009

We have two poems this week from Annie Herbert, who is a middle school reading specialist in the Howard County Public Schools in Maryland. She sent us her poems “On Being a Literacy Coach” and “Teachers School Dreams” as part of our Poetry Friday contest.

On being a Literacy Coach

I am a tornado of no harm,
Only beauty.

I am a swirling cloud of warm and cold and debris.
I appear in stormy times and good times,
And then I go.

You may not know when or where I will need to come again.
My job is not to destruct.
Never.

My job is to move your thinking around
Rearrange it, if you will,
So you have to approach your living, your working, your interactions differently,
With fresh eyes.

You, perhaps, don’t like to see me coming.
But after time passes, when the first green sprouts begin to appear,
You understand.

Don’t take shelter from this tornado.
Watch it.  Join it.
Enjoy the process of destruction
And rebirth.

For on the other side there is a rainbow.
Goodness always prevails.
I am your tornado of no harm,
But good.

I am a tornado of ultimate beauty.
I am growth.
I am welcomed.
Eventually.

Teachers’ School Dreams

They begin
Too soon.
As early as mid-July.
Unexpected.
You weren’t thinking about school.
There are endless weeks before
the real thinking begins.

Where do they come from?
Where in the mysterious thinking center
do they originate?

Is there a worry spot in our brain?
Scientists have discovered so much.
Did they discover the teacher’s worry place?

Probably not.
We keep it so well hidden.

And who studies teachers’ brains after we pass?
Michael Jackson’s they want.
But not a teacher’s.
Too easy to figure out, I guess they assume.

But still the dreams come.
Disturbing usually.
Keeping us worried long after we wake.

Wrong school.
Wrong day.
Wrong grade level.
Unexpected visitors
catching us doing human things
But not what’s on the agenda or in the curriculum.

Being teachers.
Having too much fun.
Yelling.
Saying things we shouldn’t.
Holding knives
even if it is an artist’s linoleum-cutting knife!

Where does all this craziness come from?
Do we need these dreams?
Is this how we clean out our worry center
when the pressure is low?

Teachers’ school dreams.
Ushering out the old.
Sweeping in, making room for the new.
Disturbing.
Humorous.
Telling.
Needed?

Teachers’ school dreams.
Too soon.

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeanne Hurd  |  August 8th, 2009 at 12:03 am

    I love “Teachers’ School Dreams”!
    How about:
    Can’t find the classroom,
    Nothing in my lesson plan book on the first day of school,
    And my whole class missed the bus!

  • 2. Mary Lee  |  August 8th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Oh, those unbidden teacher dreams…everything goes wrong in those dreams. Haven’t had any yet. Probably will now.

  • 3. Julie Hurd  |  December 9th, 2011 at 2:00 am

    Brilliant piece of writing friend! Keep up very good work and continue to keep composing article such as this one.

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