Twas the week before break…

Twas the week before break, and all through the school

The students were wired, and acting the fool

The teachers were trying, lessons in hand

With hope that their knowledge, in a brain it would land


The students were focused on phones and on dreams

Completely oblivious to dear teacher’s screams

And I with my lessons, clutched tightly to chest

Talked myself hoarse, and hoped for the best


When out in the hall there arose such a clatter

I abandoned my post, to see what was the matter

Straight to the door I strode with intent

To find a young student, standing half-bent


“Back inside you go!” I ordered with might

He couldn’t complain, his voice was too tight

“What is it with you?” I wanted to implore

But I restrained myself, not asking wherefore


I knew the reason for frenzy, not being immune

“Now ladies, now gentleman! Vacation starts soon

But stay with me now! There’s still more to learn!”

But they saw, and I felt, me becoming less stern


Twas but one of me, and many of them

I felt myself swaying, though I tried to condemn

“Your behaviour’s off-task!” I spurted by habit

When we all knew, I’d rather let them have at it


“Ms. MacKenzie,” they said, “can’t we just chill?”

The thought, I will admit, gave me a thrill

“No, we cannot! The semester’s near done

We have to focus, to learn, there’s no time for fun!”


My statement was true, but it didn’t matter

There was no learning to do, above all the chatter

“Students! Please tell me, what do you know

of hockey in Montreal, and in Toronto?”


I had their attention, curiosity won out

And one by one, the students start to spout

“The Leafs never win! Neither does Montreal

They’re original six teams, but they’ve had a fall”


“It’s storytime,” I said, as I took my chair

Opened my picture book, and pushed back my hair

I would read to these teens, and they’d focus close

To the tale of the jerseys, and the child morose


Hockey fan or not, they’re Canadian still

And they get the sport, if against their will

So they watch, and they listen, as I read aloud

With respect, and interest, which makes me proud


They think that we’re playing, that we’re not doing work

But what they don’t realize, would drive them berserk

Their Prescribed Learning Outcomes require some culture

And I can smell an in, like a circling vulture


Of Maurice Richard, we talk on this day

Of Habs and Leafs, and understandings that stay

But beneath it all, behind the story

Ms. MacKenzie is waiting, ‘til that bell strikes two-forty