Poem 5- Where Do All the Teachers Go?
By Peter Dixon
This poem is composed with a sarcastic note to ridicule the “never-did-mistake ” behaviour of teachers. On behalf of the students, he raised questions like “Where do all the teachers go when it is four o’ clock? Do they live in houses? Do they wash their socks? Do they wear pyjamas? Do they watch TV?” These are all sarcastic questions and fun-filled humours to question the attitude of teachers who behave as if they never be children and never commit mistakes.
As a representative of students, he knows very well “to err is human” and he wanted to follow one of the teachers back home and find out what they do. Dixon is very much certain that the grown-up, well matured, well behaved teachers too commit mistakes, though they pretend themselves they never commit mistakes when they were children and whatever they do is always correct. No teacher can be mistake-free. He further elaborates that a child cannot be expected to behave like grown up. It would be out of context, idiotic, rather foolish to expect a student to behave like a teacher and consider a teacher as a man of no errors.
To conclude, Peter Dixon requests the whole teaching community to revamp its outdated teaching methods and new pedagogical approaches must be evolved to address the special needs to the students. Students must be treated as students. It is abnormal to expect a student to behave like a teacher. Furthermore, he breaks the Godly image created around the teachers. From his poem, we can come to the conclusion that mistakes are not sins, but the mother of maturity.
For a little child a teacher is special. It is difficult for a small child to think of his/her teacher as an ordinary person.
Where Do All the Teachers Go?
Where do all the teachers go
When it’s four o’clock?
Do they live in houses
And do they wash their socks?
Do they wear pyjamas
And do they watch TV?
And do they pick their noses
The same as you and me?
Do they live with other people
Have they mums and dads?
And were they ever children
And were they ever bad?
Did they ever, never spell right
Did they ever make mistakes?
Were they punished in the corner
If they pinched the chocolate flakes?
Did they ever lose their hymn books
Did they ever leave their greens?
Did they scribble on the desk tops
Did they wear old dirty jeans?
I’ll follow one back home today
I’ll find out what they do
Then I’ll put it in a poem
That they can read to you.
A student considers his teacher special. But there is no interaction between them. So the teacher becomes a mystery. The child wonders if his teacher also do things as other people do. He wants to know about him. He follows a teacher to his home and notes his activities. Then he will write a poem about it.
Textual Questions and Exercises
Q1. Why does the poet want to know where the teachers go at four o’clock?
Ans. The poet wanted to know where the teachers go at four o’clock because this is time when school got over.
Q2. What are the things normal people do that the poet talks about?
Ans. The things normal people do that the poet talked about are living in houses, washing socks, wearing pyjamas, watching TV, picking their noses, living with their parents, not spelling right, being bad, making mistakes, getting punished, losing books, scribbling on desk tops, wearing old dirty jeans.
Q3. What does he imagine about
(a) where teachers live?
Ans. In houses
(b) what they do at home?
Ans. washed their socks, wore pyjamas, picked their noses, and watched TV.
(c) the people with whom they live?
Ans. lived with other people and if they also had mothers and fathers.
(d) their activities when they were children in school?
Ans. they were also bad, made mistakes, never spelled right, and were punished in the corner for pinching the chocolate flakes. They ever lost their hymn books, scribbled on the desk tops, or wore old dirty jeans.
Q4. Why does the poet wonder if teachers also do things that other people do?
Ans. The poet wondered if teachers also do things that other people do because he had seen them as super humans. They are strict, did not make any mistakes and punish those who did.
Q5. How does the poet plan to find out? What will he do once he finds out?
Ans. The poet plans to follow one of the teachers on the way back home that day to find out what they did. Once he succeeds in doing so, he would compose it into a poem, which then those teachers would read to their students.
Q6. What do you think these phrases from the poem mean?
(i) punished in the corner
Ans. getting punishment of standing in the corner of the classroom
(ii) leave their greens
Ans. Leaving the playground after the bell strikes for the next class to begin
Answer following questions in short.