- An ode to teaching and preparing for the upcoming school year.
- Inspiration to remind you of the lives you may touch.
It was the last night of summer and all through my mind
Ran the thoughts of a teacher, the peculiar kind
I picked out my clothes, I knew just what to wear
I’d lay them out neat, even my new underwear
My school bag was packed with new pencils and pens
The four colour click kind plus paper for when
The students forget to bring their supplies
To come empty-handed would not be so wise.
The timetable was set and I had my room key
I’d made all my lunches right through to week three
Then at nine o’clock sharp, all the lights they went out
The upcoming school year’s what I’d dream about
And after I’d laid there awake all the night
I tossed my feet to the floor, wasn’t I quite the sight
My new haircut laid flat and my eyes but a slit
Being home in ten hours made me happy, I admit
“But up I must get and I’ll go face the day
The staff meeting’s at 8 so I must not delay”
I wolfed down some breakfast and dashed out to the car
But forgetting my school bag, I didn’t get too far
So back I did go, and I pulled a U-turn
And the policeman who caught me, he wasn’t too stern
Then back on the road with all of my gear
I arrived at the school to start the new year.
Through the side door, since I was a little bit late
It was straight to my room, to sit down in a state
You see my mind was just swirling with so much to do
The start of the day felt like quarter past two.
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Yet like so often it does, at just the right time
I got a reminder in words so sublime
It was a note from a student, left on the edge of my desk
I didn’t know when it got there, I could only guess
But it was written to me, with a card and a bow
I opened and read it, I just had to know
That this student I thought who just didn’t care
Surprised me with words that came from thin air
See you just never know who or when you touch
A young life so special, who never said much
But it seems that my classes meant a little bit more
Even more than I thought, I guess I wasn’t a bore
And without any prodding and a whole lot of cheer
She wrote just how special she found the school year
Now leaning forward, perhaps sitting up straight
I held that note in my hand and considered my fate
That I am a teacher, of noble esteem
With the chance to affect this young child’s dream.
True, the hours will go slow but the years they’ll go fast
And the time with each student does not really last
With renewed inspiration, perhaps a tear in my eye
I took a deep breath, and drew a smile from my cry
And now with my lessons and laptop in hand
I sprang from my chair, round my classroom I scanned
It was here where the magic of learning would be,
Where the seeds and the roots will grow into a tree
And I am the farmer who nurtures and cares
Who waits for the bounty of harvest unawares
But faithfully plant and creatively sow
“I’m a teacher,” I said, so ready, set, go!
About Tim Stephenson
Tim has been teaching in Langley, British Columbia for over 25 years. He’s a science teacher, particularly astronomy, which is a course he has developed into a full credit senior science course. In his school, he is known as AstroStephenson. Way back at the beginning of his teaching career, he wrote a book, really to himself, that contained his teaching philosophy. It was a project that would define his career. He is a possibility thinker, a dreamer and a doer, an innovator.
From the very beginning, he knew that he wanted to teach by putting students and relationships ahead of content, and putting experiences and emotions ahead of curriculum. The result has been a long career of rich and rewarding experiences for both himself and his students, the pinnacle being in 2018 when he was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Now Tim would like to share with you his thoughts and experiences on teaching with the hope that by reflecting better, you will feel empowered to try new things, teach in new ways and see the possibilities that are there for all of us in the teaching profession.