Voices From Behind the Scenes

by Combie, Valerie

I Am a Teacher

By Valerie Combie

Builders erect structures

Of aesthetic beauty and form

Engineers construct bridges and dams

Exotic designs to withstand any storm.

But I shape character

I develop young inquiring minds

That will outlast the strongest tower

Reproducing species in kind.


People gaze in amazement and awe

At the results of man’s ingenuity and skill

They praise the discoveries of scientists, hurrah!

Whose advancements in medicine with hope fill.

I stimulate a child’s quest for life

That desire to conquer self and learn to prepare

For the future by contributing to those in the strife

Of the battle that generates anger and fear.


The athletes command respect and fame

Flaunting their brawn, not necessarily brain

As they manipulate the rules of the game

Blanketed by wealth but not immune from pain.

But I instill moral values and love

Hearts filled with general care and empathy

Children as wise as serpents and harmless as doves

Who understand the golden rule’s unlimited boundary.


The artist confounds the perception

With nameless flights of vision

Exemplified by bankers and financiers’ imagination

As they manipulate data satisfying their passion.

I engage and encourage the masses of our youth

In meeting their objectives in their pursuit of truth

To maintain pride and dignity without losing the common touch

By helping others in need of so much.


Towering structures and exquisite monuments

Enhance our physical landscape

But they are temporary structures, food for social comment

Edifices of wood and stone, victims of the elements’ rage.

But character is forever, extending beyond the grave

Influencing, motivating, touching lives

Creating a gargantuan ripple effect with the power to save

Those who have been battered in the strife.


So when people ask, “What do you do?”

Very proudly, I state, “I’m a teacher

An architect, a doctor, an engineer, a scientist, a counselor.”

All combined in one creating structures, healing emotions

But most importantly, crafting characters

Imprints that will survive

Long after this physical life

That’s why I am a teacher.


By Elizabeth “Lisa” Beck

Open your eyes, teachers,

See what they need,

Explore the vast universe

And plant a seed.

Open your ears, teachers,

Hear what they yearn,

Search for opportunities

So they can learn.

Open your mouths, teachers,

Speak of the goal,

Tell the stories

Of successes untold.

Open your minds, teachers,

Help them to think,

Create a plan

To show them the link.

Open your hearts, teachers,

Show them you care,

Receive rewards,

Too many to compare.

Student Mediocrity

By Joan Paulus

An outgoing student advises an incoming student about what to expect in my reading class.

That little old lady in room 911

I really believe she thinks she is young

Her steps are brisk, her face is glad

I’ve often asked her if she ever gets mad.

Sometimes we’d wish that she would get sick

So we could all enjoy a good break.

Thank God I am now out of her class

So much stress wondering if I would pass.

I started the class well, you see,

Daily journal and sharing, you could depend on me.

In reading, I went from level one to three,

Then procrastinated, skipped classes, “limed” with my buddies.

As I look back now, I have a few regrets

But I cannot greet her with less than respect

For she continuously informed me of how I was losing

And my B dropped to C- of my own choosing.

In spite of all this I’ll share with you some views

When you confront this little woman, better be on your cues

If you think a character trait is equal to one sentence

You will quickly learn you are lacking proper evidence.

You must include examples from the pages you have read

And before you know it, one sentence is four instead.

You will often hear the phrase, ”Age appropriate language, please.”

So “nice,” “small,” “big,” “good,” or “bad” consider them deceased.

If you mistakenly ask her the meaning of a word

She’ll point to the dictionary, that special book for nerds,

“Take it up and show me your initiative for learning.”

You’ll find yourself embracing behaviors you’ve been shirking.

For the pieces of the portfolio you’ll be guided along the way

Seeing that it is a project grade, stay focused! Do not stray!

Crucian proverbs, interaction, I enjoyed her class on the whole

That “A brain” she always said I had, was just on cruise control.

How Can I Teach You?

By Jesus Espinosa

When the odds are stocked up high against you,

How can I teach you?

When from the moment you try uttering your first words,

You were not taught or given the opportunity to properly formulate them.

How can I teach you?

With all the changes and legislation that keep teachers

Scrambling to find out to what degree you benefit, or are limited by what rules that are
in effect,

How can l teach you?

When you started your journey in learning so long ago, that today everything seems to be
now a given,

How can l teach you?

When you refuse to write or even read materials, because it’s simpler to give everything in
a handout,

And you need not bother to write from the blackboard,

How can l teach you

Basic concepts and fundamentals,

When iPhones, MP3s, and cell phones can translate for you all you want to learn and know?

How can l teach you?

The reality of life is that your interest is only in making fast money

And forgetting about your responsibilities to society.

How can l teach you

To realize that if you can’t read and write

You won’t learn how to be a leader, but a follower

And will fall for anything you hear, and do as you are told by someone else.

How can I teach you?


End of preview.

Here is the Table of Contents of the complete book:

I Am a Teacher
Student Mediocrity
How Can I Teach You?
You Have Made a Difference
Educating Whom? What’s the Sense?
Teaching Children
I Am What I Learn
The Statistic
Do I Have What it Takes?
Today’s Teachers
Adolescent Dropouts
Confessions of a High School Marketing Teacher: A Day in the Life
For the Love of Grammar
A Place of Learning Gone Haywire
Teacher Reflections
The Teacher’s Cry
The Gift of Teaching
A Challenging Student
Memorable Teaching Experiences
Richard, Redux
A Typical Day at the Writing Project
A Second Look
The Fisted Pebble: Teaching with an Open Heart and Hand
Spirit Writing
A Coach’s Dilemma
Supporting Students for Literacy Success
Dough Boy
Confessions of A High School Marketing Teacher … I’m An Artist
A Story to Tell
That Day at Gardenville
Getting Through
A Whole New World
My Compatriots
Confessions of A High School Marketing Teacher: Teaching Is…
My Wondering
I Coming Over…
Why Are You Still Teaching?
Why Teach?
English as a Second Language
Just Not Interested?
Student Mediocrity
Students Achieving Higher Academic Standards
Drastic Measures
A Soccer Story
The ABCs of a Good Teacher
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Taylor
The Homework Dilemma: Writings from a Frustrated Teacher

About the Authors