Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: DIARY (05/16/19)
TITLE: Excerpts from a Teacher's Journal
By Verna Cole Mitchell
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
With shiny clean floors and lockers,
And desks, topped with fresh young faces.
Though I have high hopes, I know already
Who will be the troublemakers.
Greg, who’s lost one leg to cancer,
Stood at the pencil sharpener
And performed a little happy dance
To entertain the class.
His spirit humbles me.
Cafeteria duty at lunch was a pain—
Students, pushing and shoving
And breaking in line,
Then filling their trays with French fries
To throw at each other across the room.
As we watched the movie
From the story of Miss Jane Pittman,
Trisha put her head down on her desk.
“I’m not gonna watch,” she said.
“Ain’t no black woman that ugly,”
I found scrawled on the desktop,
“Martin loves Kendra 4-ever,”
And I knew it would last far longer
Than the grand passion
That it portended.
For teacher observation today,
Marie, late again, fell into the room,
And Philip used a cheat sheet for the quiz,
But the supervisor understood,
And I survived another test.
At faculty meeting this afternoon,
We were held hostage for an hour,
And we all hoped Mrs. Smith
Would not ask another question,
To delay our going home.
I prayed today for gifts—
Of wisdom, to do the right things,
Of greater patience, much needed,
And, most of all, of kindness
To demonstrate God’s love.
Got an end-of-year note today
From Jerry, who announced,
“You learned me more English
Than I ever cared to know.”
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