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Pilgrims’ Return

August 30, 2016 David Mathias

The month of August drawing to a sultry end
Calls teachers from all foreign parts to wend
Their various ways toward the school doors.
They come bronze-tanned from all their package tours
All eager for the new term to begin
And so inspired they cheerily enter in.

All’s quiet now, they stand awhile and pray …
The children they so gleefully in June dispatched
Will have matured, and grown the brains to match
Their wits with courses new and challenges bold
Without always having to be told!

The classrooms empty will soon be filled
With students cramming (interrupted
Only by the sound of lockers slamming!)
Useful stuff into their growing minds …
Oh dear! I need a word to turn this into rhyme!
There, that will do, now onward with my tale
Before my reader’s face begins to pale!

We’ll start with registers to scribe
Timetable changes, principals to bribe
For extra preps …
(In jest … it hasn’t worked for anybody yet!)
Meetings to attend, and courses to be planned
And we are ready! Sword to hand!
(A figure of speech, the sword it is not real
Fashioned more from learning than from steel!)
Tomorrow morn the doors will open wide
Admitting gleaming students from all sides.
We will likely beat a hasty retreat
To pull our brains up, which we’ve allowed to sag,
And gird our loins, or so to speak.
All full of energy now are we,
But we must learn to spend it thriftily.

Listen carefully to my advice:
That you might spare yourself the awful price
Of burnout.
Save some smiles and vim,
Stash some away
For the lean months of February and May!
(March and April too but they don’t rhyme)
Let’s all enjoy the year and take our time!

David Mathias taught at River Glen High School in
Red Deer for 34 years and is currently teaching at the
Career High School in Gasoline Alley in Red Deer.

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