Twas the Night Before School

(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and his heirs)

Twas the night before school, when all through the house,
not a textbook was open, not even by mouse.
No backpacks were hung by the front door with care,
in hopes that the school bus soon would be there.

The children weren’t nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of math quizzes danced in their heads.
And mom in her kitchen, and dad in his cap,
had just resigned themselves to a long summer gap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the late summer glow,
gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but Ms Christy Clark and her tiny Fastbendeer.

With tailor made suits, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment this was going to be slick.
More rapid than twitter, their excuses came.
They whistled and shouted and called each by name.

“Now unions! Now, teachers! You are not alone.
Increases must fall in the affordability zone.
If kids aren’t in class, then fault is your own.”

And yet, on my street, up the hill at the school,
walk teachers and workers not playing the fool.
Determined to find a much fairer way,
spend weeks on the line for strictly no pay.

And the kindies all ready, their eyes how they twinkle.
Excited for school and yet what a wrinkle.
No teachers await them, no cubbies assigned,
no classroom to enter, no morning snack time.

And seniors in high school, all keen to succeed.
A last year of classes to set them on scene.
Their future on hold. Their hopes live in limbo.
They must really think the grown-up a bimbo.

But she’s jolly and chic, and a right smarty elf.
And I scowl when I see her in spite of myself.
With a wink of her eye and a twist of her head.
She could easily put us all out of this dread.

But her caucus is whipped.
Not a word will they say,
or they too might find
that they’re short on their pay.

Then right on cue, to her copter, she sprang.
With her team all set to repeat the refrain.
I did hear her exclaim, as she flew out of sight.
“Forty bucks for each kid, and to all, a long night.”

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4 Responses

  1. Awesome Lou !

    • Habari ya asubuhi (good morning) from Kenya………….Having the corporate history of School District 89 and 83, I have some observations. After 20 years as Director of Student Support in the Salmon Arm Area.

      In 1989 there 17 support workers, providing directed support to kids with special needs. When I retired, twenty years later we had 200 support workers, These folks made it possible for Inclusion, alternate programs, storefront schools, gifted programs and classroom support for teachers. The model was comprehensive and ensured that all children had the supports and services needed. The government guidelines were being supported and teachers, parents and students were doing well.

      With declining enrollment, amalgamation of schools became a fiscal requirement, this is to be understood. BUT, given the full discretion of the Board to develop priorities with the entire budget, other priorities came into view.

      So what did these initiatives cost the taxpayers?

      1. Literacy Programs
      2, French Immersion
      3. Middle Schools
      4. Two campus secondary schools
      5. ETC………………..name them

      It cost the taxpayers, elimination of Storefront Schools in Enderby, Sicamous…….reduction of community based programs in Armstrong. It cost the taxpayer, virtual elimination of Alternate programs for the most vulnerable, it cost the reduction of support workers, working in classrooms, supporting kids with learning and behaviour needs, leaving the classroom teachers, to figure it out.

      It is about time that a full review of the value of these and other costly initiatives be placed under the scrutiny of the public eye. The corporate approach based on a cost benefit analysis is not the only way a District should view their responsibilities. Education is a public service, that should serve the Public. The public includes parents, children with disabilities, physical, emotional, learning, behavioural and the disenfranchised.

      Kila la kheri (all the best)

      Professor (Dr.) Richard Zigler
      Retired Director of Student Support, SD 83
      Department of Special Education
      Pwani University, Kilifi, Kenya
      East Africa

      • Thank you Richard. Honoured to get your feedback on this important issue. Kila la kher to you as well.

  2. Reblogged this on Aim High Salmon Arm and commented:
    “Christy Clark and her tiny Fassbender – a right smarty elf” – and a smarty good read. Check it out

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