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Eric Baylin's
Songs to Brighten
A Teacher's Day

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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? Eric Baylin doesn't. In fact, he's busy singing the praises of the coming winter break. Won't you join in?

This Is Why I Am a Teacher

To the tune of The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(Downbeats are underlined.)

How many times have I heard from non-teaching acquaintances, "Well, of course, you get all those breaks." And there's no question about it; one of the great joys of a teacher's calendar is the ample time away from school. If those non-teachers only knew how much our emotional and physical wellbeing depends on those breathing spaces away from the frenetic day-to-day demands of the classroom! If they only knewthey might sing a different tune. Or we could just sing it ourselves!

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.

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming winter break.
We all need some relaxation and some fun, for goodness sake.
If we had to wait much longer, then our heads would surely ache.
It's time to take a break.

This is why I am a teacher;
Breaks are such a special feature;
I could certainly be richer;
But I can't give up those breaks.

Lawyers and investment bankers don't get all these breaks,
So they make a lot more money; is it money that it takes
To be happy and fulfilled in life? It's teaching kids that makes
Us need so many breaks.

This is why I am a teacher;
Breaks are such a special feature;
I could certainly be richer;
But I can't give up those breaks.

Oh, there're two weeks in the winter and there're two weeks in the spring;
There's a weekend for the presidents that February brings;
But the eight weeks in the summer is most certainly the thing
That makes me want to sing

This is why I am a teacher;
Breaks are such a special feature;
I could certainly be richer;
But I can't give up those breaks.

School vacation dates vary, of course, so substitute your own to make the lyrics work for you.

Song lyrics copyright 2004 Eric Baylin