Witch’s Hair

You have witch’s hair he’d said but she said no it’s simply mine, curly true more like Einstein’s. Why don’t we say it’s Einstein hair. He was really smart, you’re not that smart. Are you sure could only be the reply. Do you know that for certain? Let me tell you something:

The way I was raised we’d never talk to an adult like that so why don’t you go to the principle’s office and discuss manners and why you think you should comment like that, just blurt without thought; in fact, let’s get the principle right now.

The teacher dialed the office and went through it again while a student sat there aghast. No turning back from this, he was committed whether he wanted to be or not. You can go to the office now he was told as she hung up the phone. Deflated he walked in a daze down the hall as if an electric chair, his only fate, awaited. Zzzt… zzzztt….  The others sat quiet, the revelry snuffed out in a what just happened.

Not to add insult to injury she had an idea. Let’s begin with science, change things up a bit and find a Bill Nye the Science Guy episode to do with hair and see all we can learn about hair, how it gets it’s color, why straight, why curly, how we get that in-between wavy or with body. Could be fun.

She looked away from students sitting quietly aghast and typed Bill Nye the Science Guy all about hair in the search. I’ll let your teacher know she told them. She’ll give you a quiz. Yes, I think we’ll make this a lab.

They were all committed now, no turning back.




Years ago we thought

A Substitute Teacher meant free class

At school

No rules were followed at least we tried not to

Students spoke out of turn, never crude

Wanted to get out of schoolwork as a rule


Well I didn’t exactly under fear of what my parents would do to me if I were taken to the principal’s office for committing such an offense, but that didn’t stop anyone else. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing quite honestly as I sat, a giddy terror taking hold way back in the day. They’d eventually settle down and listen anyway.


Continuing on…


This hasn’t changed over time when a teacher is new

Who started it?

I wonder and have wondered why


I’m here now

Sub for the day

Appalled at what’s before my eyes


And ears for that matter


Anarchy arises

As students scoff, interrupt and mock

Undaunted I continue what the teacher expects


One rags on my hair counting its grays

A boy says “you’ll get old too”

“But I won’t look like that” she sneerily retorts


Am I not standing here


Rude wouldn’t you say?

But I pause the film and ask questions anyway

“Can we get on with it” another bitingly chimes in


Holding back a shudder I sigh

Won’t let fatigue take hold

Though badgered I be


Curling up on the desk to sleep would be worse


I speak to those who listen

Those precious few

Now there’s schoolwork to do


Packets to fill

“Please work on your own

It’s what your teacher says”


Dissed and dismissed

They do what they want

Redirect though I must


It’s to no avail

Administrators come with Pretense their support

Favorite students acting up you see


They don’t behave like this normally debatable philosophy


I’m left in a quandary that I don’t know

I find out soon enough

All responsibility falls on me


Though I’ve followed example set by other teachers I’ve seen

There are other schools to teach fortunately

But the outcome weighs, won’t leave


Heartsick I move on

They’re raising terrorists here

Don’t they realize action’s truth


The next generation of looters

When the lights fail

Yet they look the other way


Under protection’s guise

I fear the students knew

With what they’d get away


And what about the sub

Being reduced insignificant

Turned for the worse vocation’s risk


Let’s go back to those days

Of giddy terror of innocent misbehave

A reverence for life that’s not thrown away