#458: It’s been ten months since I stood in front . . .

I found, every April, as a NaPoWriMo participant, that it was impossible in those 30 days not to write about teaching. In any kind of forced creativity experience, by necessity one writes about whatever presents itself in experience and thought. When I was working, teaching occupied a huge portion of my brain–something on the order of 77.896%. That’s a lot of brain. So I could not help writing about teaching. In my first year of retirement from teaching English in a public school here in Milwaukie, OR, I have found myself during National Poetry Writing Month having NOT written about teaching a single time. But between yesterday and today, those teaching floodgates opened for whatever reason. So I find myself today with a trilogy of teaching sonnets, feeling a little bit like “teacher” is still and will forever be an integral part of my identity, and feeling the abundance of spring inspiration, even though the weather here is still crappy. Here’s the first one.



It’s been ten months since I stood in front of
Twenty-five to thirty teenage students
As a veteran high school English teacher
Of 32 years. Every now and then                   
I worry about forgetting what that 
was like or imagine I wouldn’t be able 
to do it again, even if I wanted to. 
People don’t wonder if they’d be able
To ride a bike again, just because it 
Had been a year since the last time. It would 
Be stupid to say to a teacher who stepped
away, that returning would be like that.
Teaching is nothing like riding a bike.
It’s engineering a runaway train, more like. 

Published by michaeljarmer

I'm a public high school English teacher, fiction writer, poet, and musician in Portland, Oregon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: