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  • Writer's pictureDonna Gerard

THE NIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL STARTS

Updated: Oct 6, 2023




‘Twas the night before school starts and all through the house,

not a creature was stirring, except for my spouse.

Her plans she had written this summer with care,

With dreams of the students who soon would be there.

Those children are texting, all snug in their beds,

But dreams of success should be in their heads.

My wife was restless, the dog on her lap,

She couldn’t stop thinking to take her night’s nap.


When down in the basement there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away down the hallway I flew like a flash,

Into the kitchen I made a mad dash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But my wife, with a late night teaching idea.

With a check of her Pint’rest page, nodding real quick,

she practiced a crowd pleasing sciency trick.


More rapid than eagles her worrying came,

As she drummed on her textbook, each thought she did name.

“The word wall! Objectives! Assessments! Domain!

Seating charts! Standards, and rules to maintain!

From the projector in front to the wall in the hall,

I’ll need student work to cover it all!


As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

Observations galore, as caustic as lye.”

So up to the attic this teacher, she flew

With an armful of markers, she’d gone full cuckoo.

And then in the silence from under the roof,

She’d invented a way to make pencils theft-proof.


As I rolled my eyes and was turning around,

Down the stairs she came with a bound.

She swore she would get all those kids to stay put,

Even with Insta and TikTok afoot.

A bundle of prizes she dropped in her pack,

“I’ll bribe them to goodness with my prize pack.

I must plan my lessons so kids will be merry,

Something their minds will want to query?

Differentiated instruction is stylish, I know,

With thirty kids, that’s a tough row to hoe.”


The stub of a pencil she held in her teeth,

Today’s endless meetings just made her seethe.

“I had real things to do, to prep and to ready,

Not listening to speeches from Machiavelli.

I had to stay late, in spite of myself,

To move all those desks and stock the bookshelf.”

She checked her to-do list and nodded her head,

“If I don’t get some sleep, by the morn I’ll feel dead.


It’s too late to think of educational framework,

I need to relax now, not go berserk.”

Bloom’s list aside, she wearily goes,

Laying down on the bed, hoping to doze.

She soon popped back up, dreams as prickly as thistle,

That she hadn’t yet taught, and it was dismissal.

Then I heard her exclaim by the dawn’s early light,

“It’s the first day of school, let’s get in there and fight!”


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