- Creating school-wide experiences for students beyond the classroom makes school an enriched place to be.
- When you have an idea, have the courage to follow through with the idea.
- Enjoy reading a poem written for the whole school as part of a performance.
The first year I did this was 2005. The staff at school was wondering about whether or not we should go through the effort of putting on a Christmas performance, and I thought it was rather necessary. The students love to see their teachers perform.
So I offered to write a “play” to which the teachers could act out with minimal effort and no rehearsal. It worked! And now 17 years later, I am still writing and reading to the school on the last day before Winter Break. I do so in this character I’ve created who I have named the Old Grumpy Guy.
I’m sharing with you this year’s poem, but more than that, I’m sharing with you an idea. You see, teaching is more than the classroom and lessons (as I’m sure you know), and the more you can bring to the school beyond the classroom (the title of my book), the better the experience for both you and the school. I encourage you to follow through with that idea you’ve got. If you wonder if you should step forward with something unique that the school could benefit from, let me assure you, you should.The more you can bring to the school beyond the classroom, the better the experience for both you and the school. I encourage you to follow through with that idea you've got. Click To Tweet [scroll down to keep reading]
Here’s the poem for 2022:
Well last I recall, it was 12 months ago
I sat down right here to take part in this show
And the gym, it felt good, with the lights turned down low
Last year’s graduate class have all crossed the stage
And their places now filled with those younger in age
Seems the author of time keeps on turning the page
But what would you expect, of course time marches on
Just like the sun rises each morning at dawn
Each day’s a new picture that wants to be drawn
Each year’s a new story, a poem, a song
And I’m over here at one end of time
While you’re over there just beginning the climb
I certainly don’t want to step our of line
So please will you allow me to finish my rhyme?
With a couple of words that I’ve written for you
From years of experience, perhaps a mistake…, maybe 2
But I’ve learned from all these, perhaps you can too
And start the New Year fresh, wave goodbye to ‘22
Here it goes:
If you fought with a friend, then go make amends
Hear a yip or a yelp, then offer some help
See a person in need, well don’t make them plead!
Make time for a laugh and then choreograph
A dance or a play, in an unfettered way
And make sure that you dream, make it really extreme
Show people love, like the kind from above
Or at least show them “like” and be done with your spite
Put a smile on your face, fill your space up with grace
Go plant some trees and some flowers for bees
Then explore this vast world, let your sails be unfurled
But reduce what you take and leave only wake
And look up from your feet, what you’ll see is a treat
It’s sky full of stars and wherever you are
They’ll shift all your thoughts from a little to lots
Then you’ll understand why that this Old Grumpy Guy
Just loves to be here, even just once a year
To be part of the cheer that big thinkers hold dear
If you want the school to be cool
And you want to reach who you teach
Then you’ll start with the heart
And you’ll soon gain the brain
See we aren’t points of data
We’ve got feelings that matter
So in this season of giving
I’ll say here’s what you do,
You treat all of the others how
You want them to treat you!
And lastly I’ll say in this Christmas season
The gift is the giving, you don’t need a reason
About Tim Stephenson
Tim has been teaching in Langley, British Columbia for over 25 years. He’s a science teacher, particularly astronomy, which is a course he has developed into a full credit senior science course. In his school, he is known as AstroStephenson. Way back at the beginning of his teaching career, he wrote a book, really to himself, that contained his teaching philosophy. It was a project that would define his career. He is a possibility thinker, a dreamer and a doer, an innovator.
From the very beginning, he knew that he wanted to teach by putting students and relationships ahead of content, and putting experiences and emotions ahead of curriculum. The result has been a long career of rich and rewarding experiences for both himself and his students, the pinnacle being in 2018 when he was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Now Tim would like to share with you his thoughts and experiences on teaching with the hope that by reflecting better, you will feel empowered to try new things, teach in new ways and see the possibilities that are there for all of us in the teaching profession.