A Tribute to My Middle School Teachers
The perm, the Benetton sweaters, they speak 1000 words!
This middle school teacher gives tribute to the lessons learned from her middle school teachers
Braces, a bad perm, some pimples
Transitions, gifted, and socially awkward
Teachers, some good, some bad,
All left an impact
Every experience a chance to learn
Mr. K., in English, was young and funny.
He looked like Tom Cruise.
He gave me the independence to develop film
and practice photography.
He taught me, though, that too many
pranks don’t enhance the environment.
Mrs. K., an exotically costumed old lady,
Taught Social Studies. I learned block letters and
Strange customs. She taught me to travel in my dreams
And hope for new lands. She also taught me teachers
Could get creative with ice picks.
Technologically backward, scantron gave her hives
Ice picks CAN grade tests.
Mrs. W. allowed me to be goofy,
She let me be weird. She gave me the
Freedom to attempt a raunchy joke.
She taught me to explore the world of words
To create drama and poetry, read great books
She helped me love language
And taught me I was too young for double entendre
Ms. F. taught me that math could
Be funny and active and social.
She taught me that different people
Are still special and unusual people
Can still be cool.
Mrs. C. taught a room of girls
Health and P.E. She told us it’s okay
To cry and allowed us our monthly
Three-tissue movies for girl time
And then let us laugh at boys’ notecards.
She taught me married teachers DO
Talk about their students!
Mrs. H. taught me that
some teachers are not right
When Mr. R. told me I had no talent.
She told me I was made to sing and
Called him an idiot,
The first adult I’d heard criticize a colleague.
Mr. M., oh science, I hated your class,
He wrote on my report card that I talked
And daydreamed too much,
Yet several years later,
A laminated newspaper photo was
Mailed to my home
Congratulating me for an accomplishment.
You taught me to remember
And celebrate student success
Even if it happened a little later….
top of the middle school food chain
The other Mrs. K., the human rainstorm,
Was eighth grade English. Backhanded praise,
“Your work is too advanced to come from a kid.”
She taught me never to accuse someone
For things shown beyond their years.
Mr. G. taught me humiliation and sexism
He taught me math was too hard
And higher level classes were no place for girls
He taught me teachers could be blind
To a student’s possibilities
And the world isn’t always fair.
Mr. H., at the high school,
Who took over my math that year,
Took a failing student and
Brought me to an A.
He taught me that teachers
Get up early and stay late
Mr. C. taught geography
And history to a map-challenged daydreamer
I learned that romance novels have just as much
Historical information needed to pass the test
And that naughty mnemonics help me
Remember geographical locations.
Poor man might die if he knew that!
A student aide for the librarian,
Whose name I wish I could remember
She let me read as many books as I wanted
And gave me freedom to spend taking pictures
And creating in the darkroom
And let me explore the microfiche.
Home economics taught me that I
Had no future as a seamstress
Or chef and that my classmates were
Much more domestic than I.
Art class showed me I could draw
Upside down and inspired me to be
Who I am, ungifted in art, but
Allowing me to uncover me.
Mr. S. showed us Cold War
Films, giving me nightmares,
He discussed chemical reactions
And filled my head with confusion.
But, he knew I loved music and he
Gave me the world.
He gave me the application
To sing in Russia.
He taught me teachers can look beyond
The classroom, the subject,
And into the child to meet a need.
So you see, some were beneficial teachers
And others not so great,
But their influence taught me
How to be a better person
Think for myself
Be who I am
And yearn to keep acquiring
Experiences, literature, talent,
Knowledge, skill, and understanding.