Saturday, 18 February 2012

Education - A Cautionary Poem

On Monday I shall celebrate a year in Nadowli and these words express some of what I have learned & felt during that time.

I know what a good school looks like,
The words to describe one are there,
Files of paper, on-line data tables,
Policies, work schemes are spread everywhere.

Risks assessed for our every movement,
We cannot leave something to chance,
Health & Safety are paramount issues,
Before pupils prospects are enhanced.

Teachers drive into car parking spaces,
Looking purposeful, eager and smart,
Their day all planned out on a laptop,
All the aspects right down to the Arts

Rooms and cupboards crammed full of resources,
Lessons planned meeting needs of each child,
Expectations are high of their teachers,
Work assessed, marked neatly and filed

Pupils present, lined up every morning,
Looking clean and eager and bright,
See the faces and shoes oh so shiny,
Their homework all finished and right.

Remember the wider curriculum,
Provide for the whole child instead
Of just the vital core subjects,
There must be room in his head.

The constant threat of inspection,
Strangers pulling your life’s work to bits,
All the time, tears, pride and devotion,
Let’s work out where the true child fits.

It’s all very neat and its tidy,
A showcase you’re proud to extol,
A place seen as safe, warm and cosy,
Professional, but comfortable as well.

I know what a good school looks like,
It’s real life not all in a book,
It’s about people sharing and caring,
Children thrive and strive, take a look.

Miles away in a far distant country,
School starts much the same every day,
Pupils gather for morning assembly,
Asking God to protect them, they pray.

The minds of the children are open,
Just like sponges they want to learn more,
They must perform duties beforehand,
Like sweeping and washing the floor.

Their palace of learning is airy,
All of life pokes its head in to see,
Books for reading & writing are scarce here,
They are dreaming of who they could be.

Potentials are there with the others,
Opportunity is fragile but we hope
That the life skills and working together,
With their teachers will give them more scope.

Health & Safety takes care of itself here,
Children come and go as they please,
No one suffers for lack of a policy,
It is rare to see even grazed knees

The scrape of the bench and the chalkboard,
Teachers doing their best to explain,
It’s almost impossible to show them,
Without bricks and wall charts, it’s plain.

Precious card and a dried up marker,
Bottle tops we are using to count,
When you know there is nothing to ask for,
There’s no money, not any amount!

Teachers walk far and ride on the tro tro,
Their bicycles, seen better days,
It’s not easy, this smile I am showing,
It’s hard when I get little praise.

Headteachers are thrown in as leaders,
They don’t even offer to serve,
The letter comes late to inform you,
A refusal would take such a nerve.

Be proud of your post as Headmistress,
Make sure that your teachers do well,
There will be no funding or training,
Succeed or we’ll make your life hell.

Thank God there is always a football,
Whether new or really well worn,
Either kicked with posh boots or flip flops,
All play from the first light of dawn.
What you’re used to shapes all of your future,
We all try to improve what we’ve got,
When we start to value our present,
All are happy and sad with our lot.

You can choose to measure the data,
As long as the children are seen,
But it’s life that provides education,
Who loves you, who you love and how keen
Are those who are put in positions
To give the nurture and care.
That develop the young and the needy,
Give your heart if you’re willing to share.

1 comment:

  1. what a true and quite sad poem Debbie, makes you think, thats for sure - hope you are keeping well xxx