‘Teaching is easy,’ the layman opined,
with a poorly disguised chuckle and a glint in their eye.
‘I don’t get the fuss, or endless tales filled with woe
or the mess or stress, but I have to confess
that I’d happily give long breaks a go.’
You nod and you smile as you look down and away.
The long time response escapes from your lips
‘There’s more than you think’ and you compile a list.
‘It can’t be that bad, you finish at 3 and colour and play,
it can’t be a bad way to spend a day’
The layman smiles and waits for a response.
You take a deep breath.
And look in the eye.
And explain for what must be the fiftieth time:
Teaching’s not simple, or easy or anything like what you’ve heard,
Don’t be sucked in by media words,
Because teaching’s an art, a craft and a skill,
one that takes time, heart and the will
To give more than you knew that you could,
And keeping going and going far more than you should.
Teachers weave magic every single day,
with every word that they speak and every fact that they teach.
Because rather than just standing and ‘telling what’s what’
there’s far more than you’ll see and far more to be.
The storyteller bringing the subjects alive
The encourager giving them purpose and drive,
The planner grappling with how they learn best,
The listener letting them get it off their chest,
The protector making them safe and secure,
Everyday giving them strength to endure.
But you stand there telling me how easy it is
and how it’s straightforward, you know what it’s like ‘cos you were a kid.
A kid who was schooled and remembers it clearly
and remembers the knowledge and the teachers held dearly.
But what isn’t remembered is what they all gave,
To make it look effortless for your personal gain.
Because nobody saw the tears that they cried,
Or the family dinners left cold on the side
As just one more book, just one more plan,
just one resource that had to be done.
The sleepiness nights, the worry and care,
for children who didn’t have a life that was fair.
The layman smiles, they’ve got their response.
‘But those holidays, hey?’ they still smugly say.
Your head bows again, you’ll not succeed,
Your eyes meet, you sigh. ‘Indeed.’ you concede.
But inside you know what you do,
and the people that matter, they know it too.