Here I sit with kids who hate to learn a formula or date,
To learn a poem or a rule, to sit inside a book filled school,
Who have no time to organise their thoughts, to give correct replies
To teachers ever badgering to sit and study everything,
To move each day on every bell, from class to class- to them is hell
To sit in ties on hottest days, just swotting up on Shakespeare’s plays
When they would rather be outside and plan a motor cycle ride.
These kids aren’t meant to be inside! For them the world is much too wide!
They want to stretch their tied up wings and energise on other things,
To be out in the wind and rain and not to sit on boredom’s plain
Where chairs are hard and it’s a fight to spend all day and have to write
A page of this, a page of that and always told they must not chat
In silent lessons where the tock is deafening from the slow school clock.
Kept in at break, the teachers say, “One day you will regret this day.
I know to you it’s lots of strife, but just wait ’til your adult life
When you’ll hope for a good promotion and wished you’d not caused this commotion.
These words will buzz round in your head, you’ll wish you’d done what teachers said!”
Here I sit with kids who hate to be inside a shut school gate.
And as I sit, I often ask, if we are right to set each task.
What good is a Pythagoras rule, will it help this lad out of school?’
And letter writing makes him groan, for outside school, he’ll use the ‘phone.
And as for copying reams and reams of chalkboard work from subject schemes-
I wonder there is not a riot! It teaches nothing, but keeps him quiet!
“So what”, you ask, “is the solution?” We cannot wait for evolution.
These kids are slipping through the net, whilst we have nothing sorted yet.
I thought of all this long ago. I thought, by now, someone would know.
By now, no time for evolution, it seems we need a revolution!
Yet so few teachers feel like me. Their eyes are just too blind to see.
They go on pushing every rule, conforming kids who don’t suit school.
By Chris Lawrence
who believes schools should fit children…not insist children should fit the school!
A friend said that she sent this to her friend who is so worried about the trauma of her daughter changing schools. “I sent your poem as emotional support, as a way to say there are teachers out there wanting to love and work with students”
Glad to be of help M.