by Sarah S. Steele
It’s finally the day before the big day of the year
The kids are almost back now, and I think that I can hear
The quiet sounds of pencils writing, brains in thinking mode
And that’s when I remember all the changes that are coming
That make me want to start running
That will make my head explode!
Our class numbers are growing, although not our teachers’ aides
Our Sitton isn’t spelling “wonderful” like we had prayed
We want to learn to use our white boards with our Mimios
But the remotes for our projectors cannot reach outside our doorposts
Down the ever-winding hallways
To the place where they are stowed!
The math, of course, is different—grouping students into clusters
The 80% mastery has teachers in a fluster
The lunch prep has been shortened to tutor kids one-on-one
But with our time to prepare lessons given now to more assessing
Feeling more the pressure pressing
We are just about undone!
I feel called to mention Reader’s Workshop (not to start a riot)
The setup, training, all that testing—it’s harder than a diet
The students take their AR tests but don’t forget the other—
The F ‘n P and oh my, me! He’s not achieving Level G
It’s time, I think we all agree,
He’s failing; call his mother!
We have less time and money for our academic clubs
But we are pulled out so often that that money’s spent on subs
It’s all because we have no half-days for our teacher progress
Instead our days are loaded with data to be un-coded
People saying we’re outmoded
*Ahem* I believe I do digress.
Oh, the luxuries of yesteryear, doing what we want and when
But with the state dictating plans, we can’t even use red pens
And don’t even get me started on what I will do for grades
For those ELLs who leave my room and don’t come back ‘til half past noon
From yesterday ‘til we leave in June
And they just say, “Use S or U”
I could cry for goodness sake!
But my most consuming issue doesn’t deal with grades or rules
No, not even with the policies they hand us for our school
The problem is much deeper than the trouble in my classroom
The thing I’m needing most of all is in that place right down the hall
A place where I need not recall
These problems that do not enthrall
But make me want to hide or crawl
Or crouch down and feel very small
Or stand up straight and start a brawl
Because of the things I appall
But none of this matters at all
I need to use the bathroom!