A Single English Teacher’s Lament
Two periods of composition
have put me in a bad position.
With class size swelled to 38,
no longer have I time to date,
for teaching all to write a thesis
means my workload never ceases.
Each weekend I take home a pile
to check and grade and reconcile.
To try to sort them out is hard—
each sentence shuffled card by card.
Each comment must be made with tact,
their logic looked at fact by fact.
Each student had to write just one.
Now handed in, their toils are done.
While I have 76 to grade,
and now regret assignments made.
How many more? I have to ask,
imprisoned by this grading task.
I thought when I earned my degree,
that I had finally been set free,
but now I am the guilty one
destroying all my students’ fun.
Yet I’ve created my own repentance.
I gave myself the thesis sentence!
This is a rewrite of a piece written over three years ago, when I first started this blog. My friend Ann Garcia, a former fellow teacher and friend for life (although we haven’t seen each other for almost thirty years) gave me the prompt to write a poem about an English teacher. Well, here it is with a stanza added to allow it to meet today’s prompt of degree as well. Pretty tricky, huh?