The Last Post

When I woke up this morning, Lord,
With a head full of confusion,
I hadn’t quite the nerve
To face my disillusion.*
Circumstance beyond control’s
Been dragging for a time
And I just don’t have the strategies
To pull it into line.
I’m feeling quite pragmatic, though-
Just sitting with the fear
And quietly assessing the stuff that’s brought me here.
The children and the colleagues I never would’ve met,
A core of whom will certainly be difficult to forget;
The learning of stuff I thought I already knew
This time round affording a more child-centred view.
The young lad placed beside me
For almost all the day-
How great my sense of gratitude?
Impossible to say-
I thought I knew this territory thoroughly enough
From decades past, a confident mastery of Stuff:
The hows and the what-fors, the whys and the wherefores,
The shifting sands of legislation,
Mounting reductionist preoccupation,
With typically-mismatched expectations,
The stripping away, the absence of play…
The target practice- what a grave mistake that is,
The falsification of hope for the Nation
That paperwork-centred political oration.
In years to come, the Head of State
Will already believe, of course, s/he’s great-
“They’ve known it from the age of five
It’s just, well-truly? S/he failed to thrive…”
The links between learning so overstretched
Leave small children feeling utterly wretched,
No Time for careful consolidation
In the name of modern education-
Poor prospect indeed for future employers,
Doctors, shop-workers, teachers, lawyers…
And there it is- the Reason Why
I know it’s time to say goodbye.
So just as I’ve found my tiny grail
The best way forward is to turn my tail,
Collect my pencil case, be courageous
And bury my spirit
In the Argus* job pages.

 

 

*Today is the last day of my job in school. Not my choice but rather a consequence of ‘budget cuts’.

*Brighton and Hove’s local newspaper

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