You know what it's about?

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

It’s about making peace with the photocopier jamming
when the first bell went four minutes ago
and you’ve only got two worksheets between twenty-seven.

It’s about the questions you’ve never thought to ask, but your S3s just have.

It’s about getting to the point where the Heidy popping in
is just the Heidy popping in
because the feedback that matters
comes from your students and they share this
all day, every day, whether they mean to or not.

It’s about realising that whenever there’s a bee in the room,
your lesson will take a different turn until
Jamie guides it out the window
to the sound of everyone’s cheers, including your own.

It’s about the way you keep searching for that perfect article
to use with 2D even though your bus left
twelve minutes ago,
and you were determined to be home for dinner.

It’s about the colleague who becomes the friend
you brave the sea with each week
and who messages as you’re pouring a night-time tea,
knowing it’s been a hard day.

It’s about the breath you take sitting next to the girl
who thinks her brother will die even though everyone says he won’t
and the exhale which comes two weeks later,
reading the email telling you she was right.

It’s about purpose and poetry
and explaining again and again to your Advanced Highers
that the contradictions held between commas
are there to rest unresolved because
life really has no easy, clean, or simple answers.

It’s about realising that no one will ever get this fifty minutes back.
So, although it’s cover and they don’t care about fractions just now,
you need to show that this matters and they matter,
and you matter too.

It’s about the smile you give every time another friend of a friend
can’t understand why you work with teenagers all day
and knowing for yourself that you couldn’t deal
with spreadsheets, or cynicism, or sales.

It’s about the way you don’t talk about it as your school anymore
but as your community.

It’s about the thirty-seven ways you’ve learned to respond
when a kid shouts out, ‘But I’m stupid, Miss!
because everyone needs to hear that you know they aren’t
slightly differently.

It’s about the quiet ‘Thanks, Miss’ said just loud enough for you but no one else.

It’s about watching them walk out the school gates,
leaver’s form signed,
knowing you’ll probably never know how it all turns out
and turning back to welcome your next class in.

And, it’s about telling the new class you welcome
you feel lucky to do one of the best jobs in the world
and actually believing yourself.

By a teacher sharing their written poetry for the first time.