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


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At the first faculty meeting of the year, a sign-up sheet was passed around for folks to choose their required extra duties for the year. By the time the sheet got to me there was only one job left -- Thursday lunch duty. My heart sank -- loud, raucous adolescents at their adolescent best!

Oh, Lunch Duty


(Sung to the tune of Oh, Susanna)

Ive grown to dread my weekly stint in the high-school cafeteria. I can manage a classroom well enough, but amid the lunchtime fries and frenetic conversations, I hold little sway. Whats left but to put my woes to song?

Well, Im coming from my classroom, not enthusiastically,
For Im going down to the lunchroom; its that time again you see.
Oh, lunch duty, yes, you can cry for me,
Cause I came here for the teaching, not a supervisory.

Well, the logic goes, that if you teach, you should be able to
Supervise three hundred children while they sip and slurp and chew.
Oh, lunch duty, its not the thing for me,
Give me jury duty any day, but not this misery.

Well, theyre raucous and they talk so loud. Theyre not exactly neat.
There is food a-flyin everywhere when they sit down to eat.
Oh, lunch duty, its not what Id call fun.
Well, the minutes pass so slowly, I cant wait until its done.

Well, a high school couple got too tight, a-kissing on the cheek,
Had to tell them that it wasnt right; I know that made their week.
Oh, lunch duty, I dread it every day.
Well, they say its in my contract and for no additional pay.

Well, I walk around and tell the kids to clean up all their stuff.
Well, they clean a bit and leave the rest; they think theyve done enough.
Oh, lunch duty, its not the place for me.
I just want to teach my classes, not a supervisory.


About the Lyricist

Eric Baylin has been a teacher for 39 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, Eric coordinates a program of collaborative faculty study groups in Packer's professional development program.

Were back, were back,
Were back here where we all belong.
Were back, were back,
It seems like we were never gone.

How to keep the ease of summertime inside us,
Thats the challenge we all face.
Better not to dwell on how our last year fried us,
Find some quiet time and space.

Were back, were back,
Were back here where we all belong.
Were back, were back,
It seems like we were never gone.

Fill the year with pedagogical adventures,
Find the moments ripe to seize.
Keep the flame of learning burning, never quench your
Thirst for possibilities.

Were back, were back,
Were back here where we all belong.
Were back, were back,
It seems like we were never gone.

Song lyrics Copyright© 2007 Eric Baylin


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