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


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“Teenagers in Love” is a song for spring, a time when “a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love.” Of course teenage affection can take another turn. Just how affectionate should teenagers be at school? A little hand holding, an arm around the shoulder seems like an acceptable PDA (Public Display of Affection).

Teenagers in Love

Sung to the 1960 rock n roll song A Teenager in Love, recorded by Dion and the Belmonts.

Wait! 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, in our minds we can always hold onto youth; and singing, incidentally, is a great way to stay young.

Each time I see them coming,
I know Ill have to say
That school is not a place
For such a PDA.

I wish I knew some better ways of
Dealing with these teenagers in love.

Theyre eyeing one another,
Its more than just a smile.
I feel their energy
From way across the aisle.

Those racing hormones -- what do you say?
Its not the place. Youre in school today.

I see them in the lunchroom.
Theyre getting mighty tight.
Im on lunch duty and
Ive gotta make things right.

I have to say that this part is tough,
To reprimand teenagers in love.

They look at me like I am
Just one old crazy fool.
Does it make any difference
If we make out in school?

I wonder what your parents would say
If they could see you acting this way?

That doesnt seem to matter.
It doesnt make a dent.
They seem quite comfortable,
Its my embarrassment.

The teachers met, and we made a rule:
No fondling one another at school.

But whats a rule for ado-
Lescents, if not to break.
They find creative ways,
Cause theres a lot at stake.

It isnt that we mean to be cruel.
Were we like this when we were in school?

We probly did the same things.
We probly broke some rules.
We probly caused some grief
To teachers in our schools.

Now were the ones who say, Thats enough
To starry-eyed teenagers in love.

Maybe I hold a secret,
Wish that it could be me,
That I was young again,
Primed for discovery.

Sometimes I ask the stars up above
If I can be a teenager in love.

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Article by Eric Baylin
Education World®
Copyright © 2009 Education World

03/24/09


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!

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

09/30/08