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Eric Baylin

Read a brief bio of Eric Baylin at the bottom of this page.


 


 

Back to School

Son of a Gun! Summers Fun
Another summer -- glorious summer -- has come to an end. As you get ready for the new school year, please join in this musical tribute to summer vacation -- a time to tend the garden and nurture the soul.

The Teacher Anxiety Song
It's coming: the inevitable end of summer and the opening days of school. The mere mention of summer's end is cause for the onset of teacher anxiety dreams. Perhaps we should put our fears and worries into song instead?

Seems Like We Were Never Gone
There ought to be a manual -- "A Teacher's End of Summer Guide for Re-entry" -- to soften the abrupt shift from summer to a new school year. Maybe I'll write it one of these days. In the meantime, here's a song.

Coming Back is Never Easy
Understand that I love teaching. I wouldn't choose any other field. But I also love summer. And coming back to school has just never been easy. I can't lie about that -- but I can sing about it!

Go Teacher Go
It's September and it's taken no time at all for the slow and lazy pace of summer to be overwhelmed by the quickened pace of school. On your markget sethold onto your grade books and Go!

 


 

Parents Are People Too

Parent-Teacher Conferences
It's not that most parents aren't supportive. But there's always that one conference...the parents who are always right and have no intention of listening to anything you say. Perhaps a song would help?

A Few of My Favorite Lines
Writing narrative comments about students has to be one of the most demanding tasks a teacher faces. Finding just the right words, being honest, but not too honestthese are the challenges teachers face.

 


 

Mid-Year Blues

They Tell Me It's Only November
Pretty soon we will break for Thanksgiving. By my count that's a third of the way. But, still, it's hard to believe it's only November, when the first months have seemed like a year.

We Never Get Snow Days
This song might not resonate with teachers in the Deep South. But I hope all of you will allow yourselves to imagine the possibilities and to empathize with this teacher's lament penned after a poorly timed blizzard.

I Might Survive
The winter is beginning to wane, but so is my patience! It can be a long stretch from that distant December holiday season to spring break. I see it in my colleagues' faces -- the "just-getting-by" look. Can we survive?

 


 

Anytime Angst

All the Things We Are
As another school year comes to an end, its natural to look back on the months -- or the years -- and wonder how our efforts have affected our students.

Committee Work
Committee work can be deeply satisfying or maddeningly frustrating. Heres to the rare committee that can work it out.

Teenagers in Love
Is that couple kissing? You mean I have to say something to them? I didnt sign on for that. And maybe Im just a little bit jealous. Oh well, singing is a great way to stay young.

The Curriculum Mapping Song
Yes, curriculum mapping can be a little tedious, but it makes good sense...doesnt it? So, if curriculum mapping sometimes gets you down, just sing your mapping woes away.

The Chaperone Song
When youre past a certain age, there comes a point when chaperoning just isnt fun. Now, when that sign-up sheet starts circulating, I discreetly disappear.

The Rubric Song
About ten years ago, I heard other teachers talking about rubrics, a word that had never been a part of my vocabulary. Id never even heard of rubrics; I wondered where Id been. But now Im a full blown convert.

Oh, Lunch Duty
This song was inspired by my opportunity to perform weekly lunch duty during a high school lunch period. I can manage my classroom well enough, but amid the lunchtime fries and frenetic conversations, I hold little sway.

Chewing Gum in School
It's a sticky issue any way you look at it. What to do? Exact penalties and punishments or let them chew? (Try explaining that to the cleaning staff!) What to do? Let's sing!

Theres a Hole In Their Thinking
Excuses! Excuses! Youve probably heard them all through the years. The gaps in their logic, though, seem a lot like the proverbial "hole-y" bucket: No matter how sincere the excuses seem, they never hold much water.

Oh, the Substitute is Comin in Today
Sometimes you wonder if its worth it to stay home. What happens to students anyway when they sense that a substitute is a bit green and gullible and can be reduced to whimpering? Surely, its material for a song!

The Evaluation Song
No matter how many years weve been in the classroom, the prospect of a supervisor coming to observe can trigger all our fears of inadequacy: Im still not good enough. A good time for singing!

The Meeting Song
This song was written to rouse a roomful of slouching teachers at an after-school meeting. It worked. Find yourself dozing off at meetings? Try The Meeting Song.

Middle School Field Trips
Did you ever chaperone a middle-school field trip? Then you know that they're wonderful learning opportunities for everyone -- and that the best part is the bus pulling back into school.

 


 

Tech Trauma

The New Technology Song
Computers have changed the face of education. My face, for one, changes constantly as I learn to navigate the new technology -- from puzzlement to a frown to exasperation to....

The New Communication Song
Schools arent like they used to be in the leisurely days of yore, certainly not in terms of communication. Today, theres e-mail, voice mail, cell phones all around the school.

The Back-Up Song
There's no question that computers have transformed our lives. Countless horror stories of documents -- and hours -- lost should provide reason enough for The Back Up Song to become a school anthem.

 


 

Gimme a Break

Oops! Lunch Is Over
This song is dedicated to those pressure-releasing moments in the faculty lounge -- often crammed, as they are, into the confines of a short lunch break. Oops! I have to run. My class is waiting.

Hallelujah for Vacations
For many of us, Spring vacation is just around the corner -- and none too soon. Its definitely time for a break; time to fuel up for the last few months of school.

Back So Soon?
So you show up at school well rested and refreshed after a badly needed break and immediately it's as though the vacation never happened. It must be time for a song!

This Is Why I Am a Teacher
Do you refuse to admit to your non-teaching friends that the school calendar -- with its frequent breaks -- is one of the great joys of teaching? Don't be afraid. Join in singing the praises of the coming winter break.

Thank Goodness for Weekends
The concept of a day of rest dates to ancient times, but the notion of a two-day buffer between five-day work weeks is a relatively new innovation. And what a brilliant, life-saving innovation it is!

 


 

Stress? What Stress?!!

 

Losing It
Teachers are human and we lose our cool sometimes. Occasionally losing it is an understandable response to the incessant demands of the classroom. Perhaps, though, we can lose ourselves in song instead.

I've Grown Accustomed to the Stress
Do you often feel at this time of the year as though your professional life is spiraling out of control? So much to do; so little time! What will you do? You could sing.

Winging It
Juggling the responsibilities of teaching and life in general can be daunting. Sometimes, when all our responsibilities converge at once, we have to let go of our highest expectations and just wing it.

Passing Time
Passing Time is a re-make of that favorite song Over the River and Though the Woods, but instead of Thanksgiving, it celebrates our ability to maintain the frenetic pace of school.

 


 

The Home Stretch

Theyre Wild Again
Its May. Lets face it. Were wiped. Were weary. And were worn out. How do we muster the energy to keep our young charges engaged and in tow? Well, one way is to put our weariness to song.

The Middle of May
We've made it to the middle of May. With the weather shifting and trees leafing out, teachers and students alike want to bolt from the classroom to bask in the warm air. Can we hold it all together for the rest of the year?

Senior Slump
The proverbial senior slump is a valley too low to penetrate. Their eyes are glazed; their minds set on caps and gowns and the release into summer. Meanwhile, we all suffer -- and sing -- our way through it.

Oh, My Summer
Weve hobbled through May with waning energy. The finish line is in sight. Its time for a break -- a nice long, long break. The arrival of summer is really something worth singing about, truly a cause for celebration.

Summer Is Comin My Way
The last day of school -- a day worth singing about; a day that cries out for a rousing song that teachers can pour their hearts into. What a beautiful morning! What a beautiful day!

About the Lyricist
Eric Baylin has been a teacher for 36 years, working with a variety of age levels in both public and private schools in New York and North Carolina. He currently works at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, a K-12 independent school established in 1854. In addition to teaching art and photography to middle- and high-school students, Baylin coordinates a program of collaborative faculty study groups in Packer's professional development program.

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