If... and When

Created on: 28 Sep 2022 | Last modified: 23 Feb 2023

If you can give up sleep and having a social life
When your fellow graduates are earning twice your salary
and out every weekend.
If you can wade through an ocean of essays
making two stars and a wish and
When you still feel enthusiastic about having taught that text.
If you can listen carefully and not just to reply and
When you can resist the temptation
to ever agree that you ‘won’t tell anyone’.
If you can still keep your act together and function competently
When you learn what ‘Adverse Childhood Experiences’ really means
and it’s not just a topic of a CPD event.
If you can smile on the good days and
When you can smile on the bad ones too.
If you can love the kids first and
When you never take it for granted when they love you back.
If you can remember the wonderful teachers that you had yourself once
Who inspire you to do the job as well as you can today.
And when you can lay roses on the graves of a truly outstanding teacher and a truly
supportive PT
And remember them with love, gratitude, and respect.
When you know you’ve been a teacher too, my child....

By Irene Walker, who dedicates this poem to:
‘Kenny Beaton (legendary Maths teacher) and Bob Dick (my first Principal Teacher
of English as a teacher).’