Teaching Experience

He has 25 years’ experience,
But he still needs to check if that needs an apostrophe.
And he hasn’t read a new book about teaching for 24 of those.
He has 25 years’ experience,
But most of that time has been spent growing the beard to scare his class,
And the games he plays with the children are older even than that.

He has 25 years’ experience,
Yet owes even more to the half-remembered children’s telly of his youth,
Which is fine because the class won’t recognise his Keith Chegwin impression,
Or the jokes he’s stolen from Morecambe and Wise,
Or the knitted kipper tie circa 1978 that he’d originally worn for a dare,
As if they’d mistake him, when he started, for someone much older,
Someone who knew what he was doing,
Someone who fitted their image of a teacher.
Which they did.
And have continued to do ever since.

He has 25 years’ experience,
But, at the bottom of the bottle on a Friday night,
And when desperate for the human contact his career has never allowed him,
He might just admit the one mathematical equation he truly knows.

He has 25 years’ experience.
Which is to say –
he has 1 year’s experience, 25 times.

Mike Hickman (@MikeHicWriter) is a writer from York, England. He has written for Off the Rock Productions (stage and audio), including a 2018 play about Groucho Marx. He has recently been published in EllipsisZine, the Blake-Jones Review, Bitchin’ Kitsch, the Cabinet of Heed, the Potato Soup Journal, and the Trouvaille Review.

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