"It's a Teacher's Life! A Collection of Poems Set in a Girl's Private School" bares to us the other side of teachers that we, as students, might not have recognised. What we thought of only as a teacher was a person, who was never tired of teaching, giving homeworks, conducting exams and doing the roll-calls. This book is a curtain-raiser to the other world of teachers to which students never get access. The author, Helena Harper, being a teacher herself, shows us this world of the educators that we know so little of. The book is essentially a collection of poems on the activities of a teacher on a daily basis, written completely from a teacher's perspective. Helena has stressed on the fact that it's not just the students who are at the receiving end, the teachers are also equally burdened. As students, we definitely do not get to know what feels to be a teacher who allots homeworks day after day only to see our half-hearted attempts at completing the work. We never know how, at the beginning of a new year while we think about meeting our friends again, teachers slog to get our timetables and syllabuses ready. The tragedy is that the task, for most apart of the time, gets carried over to the teachers' houses after school hours. Therefore, Helena decided to write a book that illustrates the lesser known and thankless aspects of teaching.
Yes, the book is indeed an eye-opener! How would a parent or a student come to know the qualms of a teacher without reading this book? Apart from teaching, there are a whole lot of tasks that a teacher has to work on. Checking homeworks, answering the end-less questions of students, tackling complaints from parents, answering the administration for the student's grades and the list goes on. Imagine how tough it is for a teacher to remain patient all the time. As a teacher, you surely have to go through a grilling patience test every day. However, the book is not entirely about the down side of teaching or being a teacher. There are some perks that keep a teacher going and "The end-of-Year-Bash", the last poem of the book is an example of that.
The Forgotten Ones
On a busy school day, who cares to think about the cook, the caretaker, the lunch lady, the janitor or the nurses? They are there all the time, yet go unnoticed! Sad but true. Helena, though a busy teacher herself, took time to notice the other lesser staff who definitely deserve praise. The hardships that they go through every day cannot be overlooked. The author has specifically created space to talk elaborately about the lives of the "other" staff who, according to her book, are the "unsung-heroes" of school administration.
The simplicity with which the poetry has been written, keeps the spirits of the readers alive. The descriptions of the classrooms, the staffrooms, coffee tables, the school trips and a long list of happenings, have been so neatly carved that they bring us really close to the situations. The style is lucid and conversational which makes reading very simple and delightful. The book can be an absolute magnificent gift for a teacher who you most adore. The book is touching in every sense and is absolutely awe-inspiring. Helena does not just spring upon her readers the frustrations of a teacher or vent her wrath out. She, in fact, wants people to know that teaching is an extremely demanding and difficult task and that the teachers need to be acknowledged for that. A teacher would definitely be the first person to rejoice if his or her student does something remarkable. It is like a reward for teachers if their students do well in education, sports or any school activities. We must all know that it's not only the efforts of a child himself that spell success; the tireless efforts of the teachers are equally commendable. Helena's poems have explored almost every possible corner of the school environment, the teachers being the epicenter.
With such a book on the stands, this Teacher's Day you need not think about any other gift for your beloved teachers. Give them a gift-wrapped copy of this book and show them how much you appreciate the efforts that they put in, both before and beyond the screen.