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


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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. Did our pearls of wisdom find appreciative ears? Did our pushing, prodding, challenging, and questioning make any dents? Who knows what seeds have been planted?

All the Things We Are

Sung to the tune of All the Things You Are

Weve offered our students so much and played so many roles in their lives. Perhaps some day theyll recognize all that we are and all that we have been to them. Perhaps a few will even be inspired to become teachers too. .

We are the ones who stoke the fire,
The ones who keep the embers alive.
We are the ones who never tire,
The ones who always give them high fives.
We are their therapists, their mothers too.
We are the shoulders they can use when blue.
We are their coach and college reference,
And some day theyll come back from afar
To thank us for the things we are.

We are the engines that keep churning,
The questions who, what, when, where, and why.
We are the fount of all their learning --
The ones who open doorways into the sky.
We are their pillars strong, umbrellas too.
We are their marching song, their Krazy Glue.
We are their cheering squad, their teammates,
And some day theyll see a shooting star,
And think of all the things we are.

We are their flashlights in the night time,
Their sunlight pouring down from the sky.
We are suggestions at the right time,
Advice for every thing that they want to try.
We are the ones who crack the jokes and whip.
We are the able ones who steer the ship.
We are the earth and fertilizer And some day the seeds of what we do
May grow into a teacher too.

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

05/19/09


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!

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

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

09/30/08