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A school is not just a place

By: Cassandra Sower

About The Poem

I have worked as a primary school teacher for nearly a year now, but have worked in my school as a teaching assistant and a student teacher for 3 years prior to qualifying. I felt compelled to write this poem as I wanted to express my gratitude to all school staff. I also wanted to write something to uplift the school community as I know how challenging these times have been for staff, parents, and children. This poem challenges the assumption that all children loathe school as it is a place they are forced to go. Many children realised how much they value school, learning, and interacting with their peers once they began home learning. I am really looking forward to the day when I am reunited with all of my class and they can do what children do best once more: be children!

The Poem

A school is not just a place,
a building of bricks and mortar.
It’s the heart of the community
providing payments of care that never falter.

A school is not just a place,
where children learn to read and write.
Teachers and TAs guide them to see their potential
and that even in the darkest times, there will be ‘l igh t.’

A school is not just a place,
a collection of classrooms full of desks and chairs.
It’s a forest school of growth,
where children put aside their cares.

A school is not just a place,
children must attend for a long while.
Teachers know that even after the most stressful day,
they can always count on (at least one) child to make them smile.

A school is not just a place,
full of uniform children in uniform.
It’s an atrium of aspirations full
of authors, artists, actors and many more.

A school is not a place,
driven by numbers and profits.
It’s a regular provider of hot meals
for children whose parents would otherwise not be able to afford it.

A school is not a place,
that panders to the petrifying propaganda of a pandemic.
It’s staff who provide a strong system of support, whose slogan is:
‘Put a wet paper towel on it!’ (a.k.a teachers are basically medics).

Above all,

This school is not just a place
that runs itself.
It’s every face,
who wake up
and race
to work.
Every teacher, every TA.

To my colleagues and friends,
whilst it may feel like,
we are at the world’s end
I want you to know:
This school would not be the same
without the hard work of each name
and face that make
this school so much more
than just a place.

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