Posted in Teaching

Christmas Carols for Teachers

* Put down your grading pen, grab an eggnog or two, and warm up your singing voice for these soon-to-be holiday classics. *

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Working in a Public Middle School

* To the tune of “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”

School bells ring, so many missing
In your class, no one’s listening
These December days
Eat your sanity away
Working in a public middle school

Gone away is your patience
The things kids say, they don’t make sense
Their obsession with memes
Makes you want to scream
Working in a public middle school

In the commons, kids are chugging Starbucks
Eating chocolate and candy canes
Things are fairly peaceful but with your luck
Someone will pull the fire alarm again…

Later on, by the fire
You’ll dream of retirement
From lesson plans made
And papers to grade
Working in a public middle school

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Whose Paper is This

* To the tune of “What Child is This”

Whose paper is this, which came to rest
Upon my desk with no name?
Its handwriting is so messy
I cannot read it anyway…

This, this is what I do
I track down kids to find out who
Used haste, haste to do their work
And will have to redo it anyway…

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First Period Bells

* To the tune of “Jingle Bells”

Dashing through the Starbucks
A large coffee in hand
You’re late again and it sucks
You’ll get a reprimand
But there’s no point in teaching
Without your cup of joe
The students would be smirking
At the answers you don’t know

Oh, first period bells! First period bells!
Why are you so early?
How bad would it really be
To start at, say, nine-thirty?
First period bells! First period bells!
Your timing is so poorly
Teachers and kids alike
Would enjoy some more sleep, surely

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Deck the Halls

* To the tune of “Deck the Halls” (duh)

Deck the halls with student artwork!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
The tape you chose refuses to work!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Down it falls into a pile!
Fa la la, la la la, la la la!
You replace it with a smile!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!

Down it falls again tomorrow!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
A glue gun you seek to borrow!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!
Burn your hand and rip the poster!
Fa la la, la la la, la la la!
In the recycle bin it goes!
Fa la la la la, la la la la!

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Grading Around the Christmas Tree

* To the tune of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”

Grading around the Christmas tree
It’s December 24th
Your friends and fam are all celebrating
But you’re still working, of course
Grading around the Christmas tree
There’s still so much to do
Cookies to bake, people to see
And lesson plans to make too

You will get that carpal tunnel feeling in your wrist
From writing, “You could do better”
While wearing your Christmas sweater
Grading around the Christmas tree
Add some eggnog to your rum
Whatever you do, try not to think
About your small income

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* Happy holidays, teachers! Extra credit to anyone who shares a video of you and your coworkers performing these tunes! *

 

 

Posted in Teaching

15 Signs It’s the Last Month of School

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  1. Your lesson plans all say “Work on project? Or something?”
  2. Every single glue stick is empty.
  3. No one’s even calling the copier repairman anymore, and people have started storing snacks in the paper trays.
  4. Every day is a jeans day. No one really gave permission, it just happened.
  5. The things you pack for lunch have gotten weirder and weirder. It wouldn’t surprise you to open your lunch bag and find a stick of butter and a bag of frozen spinach.
  6. Students seem shocked when you hand graded papers back. They look at them like, “What is this? Where did it come from? What does it have to do with me?”
  7. The lost and found contains enough items to clothe and educate a child for an entire school year and allow her/him to drink out of a different water bottle every day.
  8. Everything everywhere smells like a dirty sock.
  9. Students say things like, “Why do we still have to do work?” and “When the STAAR test is over, we’re done, right?” with absolutely no irony whatsoever.
  10. Parents have finally realized these kids will be their responsibility again soon and have started sending thank-you notes and chocolate.
  11. The recycle bins are so full, you can finally slip that pile of very-important-things-you-never-got-around-to inside without anyone noticing.
  12. Teachers spend their conference periods bartering for storage space. “I will cover your duty five times next year if I can store two boxes in your closet.” “How many jeans passes will it take for you to keep my textbooks in your built-in shelves?” “I will give you one foot of space in my cabinet for your laptop charger.”
  13. In Advisory, you are now teaching important life skills, such as how to properly stack boxes, remove staples from walls, and repair broken desks.
  14. When a book you haven’t seen in eight months arrives back in your classroom, you reenact the final scene in The Incredible Journey when the boy reunites with his long lost dog.
  15. There is never, ever enough coffee.

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Hang in there, teachers!

 

Posted in Poetry, Writing

Morose Penguin Review, Issue One (and Done)

A Note From the Editor:

In the world of literary journals, it’s unheard of for every single submission to be worthy of publication, but that’s exactly what happened with Issue One (and Done) of the Morose Penguin Review. The pieces arrived for my perusal, and not once was I disappointed. (Unless I was supposed to be, in which case, I was, greatly.) The seven poems featured below were written with such dedication, such creativity, such utter moroseness, that I had no choice but to publish them all. I want to thank the poets for their contributions, the penguins for being such inspiring muses, and winter itself, for being so utterly morose.* May you find a little levity, a little light, and a little laughter from the following poems. And may the moroseness of February pass quickly.

Happy Reading,
Carie

* Please pay no attention to the fact that it is currently 65º in Austin, Texas. Trust me, the cedar allergies still make things seem quite morose.

Version 2
Bringing you gloomy poetry since 2018 (and never again, I promise)

Morose Penguin Review, Issue One (and Done)

Morose Penguins
by Emily Stubbe

Poor little penguins,
At the bottom of the Earth.
When you go south,
You also go north.

Bio: Emily is an avid reader of failed-polar-exploration non-fiction and does not discriminate based on the pole. She did not like the movie Happy Feet, but in general, has nothing against penguins.

sullen ill-tempered flightless seabird
by Brian Mahoney

white white endless snow
barren wasteland of nothing
worst part, I hate fish

Bio: Brian Mahoney lives in Texas against his will, held hostage by three Texas women. When he’s not writing poetry, which is literally 99% of the time, he enjoys talking to people, inventing perceived slights against his character, and wandering around the comic book shop.

Waiting
by Ashley B. Davis

An emperor on
a lonely throne, sharply dressed,
waiting for the one

Bio: Ashley B. Davis writes haikus about morose penguins at will. She also drinks coffee, reads, mothers twins, and blogs at www.ashleybdavis.com.

Aphorisms
by Diana Conces

it is always darkest just before dawn,
they say, but in winter it’s dark after dawn,
and not that bright at noon either.

birds of a feather flock together,
they say, but body heat brings body smells,
and none of us has bathed since summer.

grin and bear it,
they say. I may have to bear it,
but I refuse to grin about it.

it’s an ill wind that blows no good,
they say, and I agree–it’s a pretty ill wind.
I’m still waiting on the good.

no penguin is an island,
they say. I wish. I wish I was an island,
a tropical one, with plenty of fish.

this too shall pass,
they say. It had better pass soon,
or I may stab them with an icicle.

Bio: Diana L. Conces is a native Texan whose poetry has appeared in numerous print and online publications, a newspaper, and a city bus. She has a blog (https://dianalconces.blogspot.com/) and enjoys jewelry making, knitting, embroidering poetry onto fabric, and various crafty things she has been lured into by Pinterest.

Morose Penguin
by Pat Kinder

Morose Penguin, huh?
Antarctican egg cradling
Probably caused it…

Bio: Pat Kinder is a long-time consumer of chips and salsa who resides in Flower Mound, Texas, with his wife and son and daughter. He enjoys baseball, camping, and reading his sister’s blog in his spare time.

Haiku
by Claire Vogel Camargo

aimless penguin
his courtship calls unanswered
no egg to care for

Bio: Claire Vogel Camargo, author of IRIS OPENING, an ekphrastic collection, has poems in a number of journals and anthologies, a few award-winning. She lives with her husband and Great Dane.

All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go
by Carie Juettner

Dressing is depressing
when all you have is evening wear,
especially on a continent where
icebergs are plenty
and formal parties few,
and you’re more likely to encounter
a killer whale
than a candlelit dinner for two.
I try not to get my feathers ruffled
over my limited choice of attire,
but it’s hard not to feel bleak
when icicles hang from your beak,
and there’s no Oscars invite in the mail,
and you’re dressed up in black tie and tails.

Bio: Carie Juettner is a teacher, poet, blogger, and the editor of the Morose Penguin Review. She owns no evening wear, but she does have a necklace with a penguin on it.

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Thank you for reading the Morose Penguin Review.
Have a lovely day.