Revolution Lullabye

December 1, 2010

I’m Just a Poor Part-Timin’ Teacher

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“I’m Just a Poor Part-Timin’ Teacher.” College Composition and Communication 42.3 (1991): 355.

A song written to the tune of “I’m Just a Poor Wayfaring Stranger.” It draws on the ethos and pathos common of the 1960s civil rights/anti-war movement, very Peter, Paul, and Mary. The teacher is dedicated to her students, wants to work with them on their writing and finds great satisfaction from her work with them, but she must work at multiple institutions without benefits, security, or much pay.

“And yet I know my students need me/And yet I know I give my all./This is the work that I was trained for/Though I face losing it each fall.”

“I’m just a poor part-timin’ teacher/A readin’ essays until dawn/And the voices of my students/Rise from the page they draw me on/I want to hear those struggling voices/I want to hear them all my years – /But not if all my work in grad school/Makes my profession volunteer.”


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