Tag Archives: teacher appreciation week

Diary of an English Teacher in His Penultimate Year, Redux: Teacher Appreciation and Spring Break Randomness

First of all, here’s a thing a student of mine wrote in response to the question: what does e. e. cummings say in his poetry about being and unbeing?

When e.e cummings talks about being and unbeing the message that he’s pretraying [sic] is that to be [is] not to be and not to be is to be[,] is the perspective that living is to dying as walking is to running.

This student is either on to something way over my head or he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Either way, I found it a thrill to read out loud. I love the (I think) unintentional nod to Hamlet here, and I am amused by the idea that Hamlet was speaking, not so much about whether to live, but rather, as cummings is doing, speaking about HOW.

Then, teacher appreciation week. It is supposed to happen in May, but our administrative team, in their wisdom (seriously), made it happen during the last week in March, during classified staff appreciation week, in order to ensure that the two appreciation weeks happened simultaneously so that one appreciation week was not overshadowed by the one that follows, to make sure that the certified staff and the classified staff received the same level of love and attention. We all got rocks decorated and painted to look like us, mostly. Mine was good; the hair was perfect. We got a breakfast on Wednesday. We got fancy hand sanitizers on Thursday. We got t-shirts and free coffee on Friday and healthy snacks all day long. And then we got (the Pièce de résistance) Spring Break. Overall, one of the best appreciation weeks of my career. Outside of the rock from the leadership kids, however, students on the whole still seem oblivious to appreciation weeks.

Spring break. On this first day I am home alone. Thinking about a beach trip with the family. Planning to attend the Association of Writers and Writers Programs (AWP) Annual Conference, this year hosted in my own lovely city, where I’ll learn some stuff, see some famous people, schmooze a little by talking to folks about possible places to publish a book, and meet a bunch of friends from my MFA program. I’m writing this little blog entry. And I am gearing up internally for National Poetry Writing Month, when I will, I think for the fifth or sixth year in a row, write a poem a day for a month and post each one of those little nuggets right here on the blog. So I hope you’ll come visit.

I’m trying to finish a review for the new book by David Shields. It’s a difficult one to write, not because I am anything shy of enthusiastic for the work, but because the subject matter is difficult to write or speak about publicly. For now I’ll just let loose the title and you’ll immediately see what I mean: The Trouble With Men: Reflections on Sex, Love, Marriage, Porn, and Power. Initially, I was just hoping to have a small thing to post in the review sections of amazon or Goodreads, but I’m also toying with the idea of writing book reviews here on the old bloggy blog, so it may turn out to be a little more than a blurb, and Shields’ book would be a good, if not risky place to start. Let me know if you have thoughts.

Finally, I posted a haiku on Facebook yesterday, but not a single one of its 30 readers seemed to recognize the form, I think because they were somewhat distracted by the irony of the post, that my dog destroyed the glasses manufactured by a company that donates its profits to dogs, and by the accompanying photos. I’ll leave you here with the picture, followed by the poem, a little warm-up for April:

 

My dog, she ate my
glasses. So I got a new  
pair from Fetch Eyewear.
Postscript: Fetch Eyewear is a local outlet for glasses that donates 100% of its profits to animal welfare. Check ’em out.

 

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Filed under Teaching, Writing and Reading

#280: A Mostly Unrhymed Food Dipodic at the Close of Teacher Appreciation Week


This week for teacher
appreciation,
they bring us junk
to eat, like chips,
and candy, bread,
pancakes, syrup,
none of which I
can eat, sadly.
Yesterday, kids
wheeled in wagons
full of goodies
into classrooms
from which I could
only choose bottled
water. Somehow,
this week I don’t
quite feel the love;
appreciation
is not for me
in the midst of
this Whole 30.

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#33: After Teacher Appreciation Week

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After Teacher Appreciation Week

On Monday, several dozens of cookies
were placed in the staff lounge, a gift
from our secretaries and support staff.
On Friday morning, the administrators
served us hot coffee and fruit and pastries.
We were still trying to polish off the cookies
in the staff lounge, some of which are still there
a week and a day later.
And on Friday a little piece of paper
was hung outside my classroom door
with my name on it,
signed by maybe four or five
anonymous well-wishers,
proclaiming me
as bizarre, nutty, weird, goofy,
but in a good way, of course.
All week long, in not a single one
of my six classes, did a single student
out of almost 200, verbally or in writing
or in any other discernible way
appreciate me.

Don’t get me wrong.
I don’t mean to complain.
On the one hand, in the same way
perhaps a firefighter feels uncomfortable
when people praise him for putting out a fire,
I feel strange thinking about the fact that my profession
has an appreciation day at all.
I’m just doing my job, as they say.
And while nary a student of mine overtly
expressed appreciation for what I do,
I like to imagine that within their little student
hearts that many of them are, indeed, thankful
that their English teacher is goofy in a good way.
But on the other hand,
as class sizes increase astronomically,
responsibilities never decrease commensurately,
right wing media vilifies and undermines,
and corporate interests vie for privatization,
testing, testing, testing,  and accountability–
always for schools and teachers and never
for students and their parents,
yeah, I could use a little bit more appreciation,
thank you very much.

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Filed under Education, Poetry, Teaching