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


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On top of everything else -- the daily lesson plans, the faculty meetings, lunch duty, and more -- there are those “special” opportunities for teachers -- chaperoning middle- or high-school dances.

The Chaperone Song

(Sung to the tune of A Hard Day’s Night.)

When you’re past a certain age, chaperoning just isn’t fun in any shape or form. Save it for the 20-somethings and let me have my rest. Now, when that sign-up sheet starts circulating, I discreetly disappear. Let’s sing “The Chaperone Song.”

It's been a long school day,
And I've been teaching like a dog.
I didn’t choose to stay;
I could be writing in my blog.
With all the things that I do,
I gotta chaperone too.
It doesn’t feel alright.

You know, I teach all day.
I’ve still got papers left to grade.
I need some time away,
Cause I’m just about to fade,
They say it’s my time to go,
And that I couldn’t say no.
It doesn’t feel O.K.

Take me home, far from the mad pulsing beat,
Take me home, home where the silence is sweet, yeah.

The music’s way too loud.
You know, there’s nowhere I can sit.
It’s such a noisy crowd.
And my eardrums may just split.
I cannot wait ‘til the end.
I didn’t want to attend.
I’m not a happy chaperone.

Chaperones, the young ones should do it who care.
Chaperones shouldn’t have any gray hair, yeah.

It's been a long school week,
And Friday night is finally here.
I’m feelin’ old, antique,
And, yeah, my bedtime’s pretty near.
You know, I’m startin’ to droop.
I’ll need a week to recoup.
My chaperoning days are done.
My chaperoning days are done.

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Article by Eric Baylin
Education World®
Copyright © 2008 Education World

10/27/08


Tuning our Schools with Laughter


This is my 40th year teaching. Ouch! Its hard to see that in print. Several years ago, I had one of those great aha" moments that has given new life to my role as an educator.
Ive always been interested in working to change schools in ways that enhance and support learning, but Id gotten to a point in my career when I saw that all my serious, effortful striving played only a minimal role in change. The aha" came when I realized that I could, at least, change my state of mind by laughing at the very things that bugged me most. OK, maybe not everything. But at least the little everyday stuff that nags at me and drags me down.
That thought became fodder for songs about school and teaching, which I started writing as a way of helping myself (and my colleagues) survive the year with an intact sense of humor.
I still work hard to change the things that stand in the way of student (and adult) success in schools. But now I wonder -- seriously -- if laughter itself isnt one of the soundest pedagogies, a best practice" that can help us re-tune our schools and shift the culture to one that genuinely embraces wellbeing and lightness of heart as sound supports for learning.
I wouldnt mind working at a school whose mission statement included, after those ever-familiar phrases, lifelong learning" and supportive, yet challenging environment," the words

And this is a school where we love to laugh!

Click here to return to the Education World Columnists archive page.

Article by Eric Baylin
Education World®
Copyright © 2008 Education World

09/30/08