The Wave

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

I am about to retire
From teaching years that verge on twenty six.
That have been great and
Good and wonderful and strange.
I will tell you that I want to leave
Quietly and scuttle away without a
Backward look, a bunch of flowers,
Or a handwritten card.

What I want to tell you is that I am sad
I am leaving but
Time to go to write and photograph and walk and
Book cheaper holidays.

I will tell you that I will keep one copy of
All of my teaching resources
to remind me of what I created and
imparted about poetry and prose and the love of language.
It will tell me who I gave it to and taught it to
And photocopied it for.

I will clean my room and it will quietly
Disappear that mountain of paper with traces of
CfE… Higher Still… Nationals… Revised Higher…
Intermediates…Standard Grades… McCrone’s 15%
Laughable 35-hour week…
Working Time agreement…1%... 5%... amendments
..additions… arrangements… advisory notes
..initiatives… guidelines... digital learning… online classes
… real classes… masks… disinfectant… risk…
And my immunity to all and more.
These are the papers of change,
The notes of change, the progress of change.

The classroom and cupboard will be neat and ordered
And the young people will wonder where my piles of
Paper are where I could find,
In a moment, the most and least unexpected thing.
They knew I knew where the single thing was
in my disorder and chaos without
alphabetical, chronological, or logical order.

The posters will remain on structure, metaphors, types of writing,
Poetry and…
The janny will lift me gently from the coat hook behind the door,
Plant my feet firmly in the corridor,
Point to the exit,
And wave…

By Leslie McKitterick