The Summer School Teacher’s Tale

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July 17, 2015 by helenwaldron

When that July with its showers sweet with fruit

Has topped the showers of June.

And we have bathed each vein with liquor that has power

To help us through the marking and the lonely hour

When the DOS* with his sweet breath

Inspires us to look for work in another holt and heath.

The tender language teacher, looking for the summer sun,

Sees that in this town at least the work its course has run.

And many little kids make melody

And rave through all the night with open eye

(Their hormones prick them on to rant and rage),

Then do parents long to send them to a summer school.

They palm them off to the south coastal strands

To get them taught a tongue strange in their lands.

And especially from every country’s end

To England, near Canterbury they wend

The holy blessed better school report to seek

Because at school their teacher says their English is weak.

* The Director of Studies – a person in charge of the academic side (lessons, teaching and teachers) at a language school.


“Very funny,” said Deborah. But she wasn’t smiling.

For it was true, the language school hadn’t enough work for her at present and she was heading for the UK, to teach in a summer school.

All summer the south coast of England is awash with noisy gangs of teenagers who are out to party all night, while in the daytime the teachers subject them to a rigorous timetable of English lessons and activities.

Your children will be in safe hands with us, promised the brochure. We understand that many of our students are under 18 years of age. Our team of highly trained teachers is dedicated to making this summer school a happy and unforgettable experience for all concerned.

“The mealtimes are the worst,” said Speakeasy.

“You have to make conversation at the table too. And on Sundays you have to take them out for a day trip and talk to them all the time. You can’t believe how tired you can get from talking.”

“I learnt Spanish at one summer school,” added Writewell. “I was teaching English, but the kids spoke so much Spanish, I was dreaming in Spanish by the end of the week.”

“You have a great time in Berlin with your Absolute Beginners in your luxury hotel,” replied Deborah with a touch of bitterness.

“Will do,” replied Writewell. “They’re lovely guys, aren’t they James? Only   three of them and so quiet. How many stars has the hotel got again?”

(TIP: Follow the following link for a great version of Chaucer’s Prologue… )

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Helen Waldron

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Teachers as Workers

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