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A Dash of Expectation

Poems of the Classroom

A Dash of Expectation by Russell J Fee
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Russ Fee’s A Dash of Expectation, draws you into the humorous and human drama of the elementary-school classroom. These accessible poems put you at a front-row desk or in the heart of a teacher. Reminiscent of Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, the book captures the freshness, vitality, and wonder of children’s observations and the keen observations of a caring teacher.

The children spill stories of innocence and wisdom, from the shock of sex education in fifth grade, to the first grader, still best friends with the tyke who prompted his fist-fight suspension. And Fee, a former attorney and now a teacher, serves as a willing scribe.

Perfect as a book for teachers, parents, or anyone who has survived elementary school, the pages offer potent insights. If you are in the mood for chuckles, some surprises, and perhaps even tears, Fee’s book will not dash your expectations.
SynergEbooks; March 2009
51 pages; ISBN 9780744316742
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: A Dash of Expectation
Author: Russell J Fee
Poem For a New Teacher

Don’t take it personally.

This is what they have learned. Of course
they have been taught other things
by others before you, but
this is what they have learned.

You will toss their ignorance
back to them, not in fair play
but like a father hurls a baseball
at a timid son.

You will dangle knowledge just
out of reach. Not like a sparkling
mobile above a wide-eyed infant’s
crib but like a promise made in jest.

You will become impatient with
their sputtering synapses and
rebuke them for their errors.
This is what they have learned.

So don’t take it personally

if they curl inward or strike out
like a cornered armadillo or a
snake stepped upon. These are
only means of survival.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

I can’t think of anything to say.

This has become her refrain
whenever she must write.

I can’t think of anything to say.

Her father has lost his job.
Her mother has lost her baby.
She has been sent to live with her aunt.

The words just won’t come.

Then one morning she arrives at school
early and leaves a poem on my desk.

It’s about the brother she never knew
and ends with the line,

I feel like your heart is on top of mine.

I can’t think of anything to say.
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