Friday, April 10, 2020

Three Poems from the Child's Eye-View

I have always felt that to be a successful teacher, you had to be able to put yourself in the child's shoes occasionally and look at things from their point of view. That view can often be one of perplexity, confusion, exasperation, awe, wonder, fear, or joy. Here are three poems from my book There's a Giant in My Classroom (Infinity Publishing, 2013) that are attempts to look at things from the child's perspective.

Many Windows

The many windows of my class
Are like a giant screen TV
Showing the green and blue outdoors,
Which is where I’d like to be.

A squirrel skitters across a wire;
Birds flit from tree to tree.
Clouds in the shape of elephants
Float by in front of me.

Four baby rabbits and their mom
Appear behind the shed.
A butterfly, all orange and black
Lands in the flower bed.

A jet plane silent, high above,
Leaves a white streak in the sky.
A robin fails to find a worm,
Then comes back for one more try.

I hope my teacher can understand
The things that I’d be missin’;
If instead of gazing out windows,
I had to sit and listen.

The Spelling Curse

Of all the subjects I’ve taken at school,
Spelling’s the absolute worst.
I try to spell words correctly,
But my efforts all seem to be cursed.

The problem is plain (plane?), as I see it.
The words “worst” and “cursed” sound the same,
But their spelling’s entirely different.
I wonder who could be to blame.

If I could speak to the spelling lawmakers,
I’d ask that “curst” be spelled just like “wurst.”
It would certainly make me a happier child,
And in spelling I’d be better “vurst.”

Don’t Call on Me

Tommy didn’t read the story that his teacher had assigned,
And so he sat in silent terror with one thing on his mind.
“Don’t call on me!”
“Don’t call on me!”
“Don’t call on me! Please!”

Then Tommy tried to get real small and avoid the teacher’s gaze,
But teacher called out, “Tommy, I haven’t heard from you in days.”
“What can I say?”
“What can I say?”
“What can I say? Geez!”

Tommy started with a mumble, then a stammer and a grunt,
And finally teacher called for him to join her at the front.
“I’ve had it now!”
“I’ve had it now!”
“I’ve had it now! It’s true!”

Walking to the teacher, Tommy gazed up at her with sorrow,
Teacher smiled and whispered in his ear, “Just be ready for tomorrow.”
“She didn’t yell.”
“She didn’t yell.”
“She didn’t yell. Phew!”

That night Tommy read the story,
It was really pretty good.
And he’ll be forever grateful,
That his teacher understood.

Copyright 2013 by Russ Walsh

Teachers are given full permission to use these poems with their students as they see fit.


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