#Maydays Prompt – Lessons learnt – Senior English


Today’s theme is about learning and teaching.

My students sit up when I enter

I think to see what I am wearing

Rather than the teaching about to take place.

English in the senior years,

Jane Austen, Shakespeare,

The Romantics, Keats and his Grecian Urn.

Their eyes glaze over, here we go again

Flogging a dead horse, so to speak.

Minds switched off, pens doodling

I make all the sense I can

My mind struggling with Austen as much as theirs.

Then the crunch part, the word Assessment

Their eyes light up, some salivate, others sigh.





They demand the lesson notes,

Want study sheets

Guidance suddenly is requested

Marks are involved,

They get very serious

Heads down bums up

Diligence surfaces

Indifference vanishes.


Written for: https://new2writing.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/maydays-prompt-lessons-learnt/

This entry was posted in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to #Maydays Prompt – Lessons learnt – Senior English

  1. You’re lucky. Most of mine don’t perk up or care about assessment grades either.

    • Michael says:

      It’s what happens in a school where the academic aspect is exaggerated and they see themselves as future doctors, lawyers and pool cleaners.

  2. Heads down bums up eh lol I wish I had done all my exams sitting like that, I might have got somewhere 🙂

  3. Scout says:

    “Their eyes glaze over, here we go again…Flogging a dead horse, so to speak…Minds switched off, pens doodling…” Lol. Yep. That was me. Still is… 😀 It’s gotta be tough to be a teacher–especially if you don’t much care for Austen either. You created a great visual here, Michael.

  4. I laughed — yes out loud and everything when you mention Assessments and went on to describe your students’ behavioral changes. The word “Assessment” got my students excited because that was often the name given the two or three written/checked off assessments a student might do of each professor at the end of term/course. That definitely got a few salivating and sharpening their pencils. (And your description was quite humorous.)

    • Michael says:

      Thank, its all truer than you think, they hated them but attacked them with so much vigor as it meant a lot in terms of their final result.

  5. KL Caley says:

    What a wonderful visual Michael! I think we all know students like this, the instant fear that flows through them with the word assessment – you captured it all so well. Thank you for taking part. KL ❤

  6. Mara Eastern says:

    This is hilarious – exactly my thoughts at this time, a week before the final tests. I thought the apocalypse was coming when my students suddenly woke up in class and started to ask questions – all about the final test of course. It’s all fun and games, and then there’s the final test. Ha.

    • Michael says:

      Kids are same all over I find. Bring on a test and suddenly they are awake. Good luck with it all. The marking I don’t envy though. Did you know that in Japan all the tests are multiple choice? They don’t do written expression.

      • Mara Eastern says:

        Kids are the same everywhere, you’re right. Multiple choice is everyone’s preferred, I think, both for the teacher to mark and for the student to take (and guess, if necessary). I realise it doesn’t cover all the skills, to do just multiple choice, but it’s immense workload on the teacher to mark, say, essays, which is what I spent lots of time on. It made me prematurely old.

      • Michael says:

        Yes I have been in the same position. We had 180+ in the senior years and at exam time we double marked them. Another teacher and I would have one question to mark and then compare marks to arrive at a result. We marked out of 20 and as it was an academic school I never gave a kid 19 because it meant having to explain endlessly why they didn’t get 20, often it was easier to give a 20…..I know a cheap way out but it did save a lot of anxiety on my part and in the grand scheme of things made no difference.

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