This tag is associated with 3 posts

Whoooah, now THAT’S a poem: Hallelujah the Saviors are Here

saintPoet Rachel Smith, 18, is a senior and a member of Epic Sound, the Kenwood Academy Slam Poetry Team.  This is her second year participating in Louder Than a Bomb.

Hallelujah the Saviors are Here is a condemnation of teachers who come to “the inner city” without becoming a true member of the community.

You can hear it here, performed by Rachel, herself.

And for more on ‘saviour teachers’ in the USA, read here: Why Teach For America can’t recruit in my classroom.

Or if you would like something more local, this is the Kiwi version, teachers trained in 6 weeks and then sent into schools in poorer areas: Teach First NZ

Are they better for the recruit than for the students?

Or are they a good idea?

Key is not the key, Pressure Cooker, and other poems

There have been some sterling additions to the education poetry slam, and I thought they deserved a post of their own rather than languishing as the great (often) unread in the comments section 🙂  So here you go..


Assess the mundane
Spend hours on data entry
Where has the joy gone?




Key is not the key
to Kiwi education
He’s the harbinger!



Hekia ‘deciles
Don’t matter’- too to kore
They do to our kids!!!

by PPTA Professional on Twitter


National Government education reforms
Are now NZ’ s national standards norms
The sector doesn’t need this accountability
Because teachers know what they can see!

Overall teacher judgments no longer enough
Instead we have this computer PaC tool stuff
What about the review of the Teachers’ Council
But that’s not the end, there’s Charter Schools, still!

by Jo


And now for Mr Boon’s masterpiece rewriting of The Sneetches, I give you The Teachers:

The Teachers

Now the Star-rated teachers had contracts with stars.
The Plain-rated teachers had none upon thars.
The stars weren’t so big; they were really quite small.
You would think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.
But because they had stars, all the Star-rated teachers
would brag, “We’re the best kind of teach who can teaches.”

With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort,
“We’ll have nothing to do with the plain-rated sort.”
And whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
they’d saunter right past them without even talking.

When the Star-rated teachers went along to PD,
could the Plain-rated get in the game? Oh not thee!
You could only attend if your contract had stars,
and the Plain-rated teachers had none upon thars.

When the Star-rated teachers had after-work drinks,
or meetings or cuppas or pedogogical thinks,
they never invited the Plain-rated teachers.
Left them out cold in the dark near the bleachers.
Kept them away; never let them come near,
and that’s how they treated them year after year.

Then one day, it seems, while the Plain-rated teachers
were moping and doping alone on the bleachers,
sitting there, wishing their contracts had stars,
a stranger zipped up in the strangest of cars.

“My friends, ” he announced in a voice clear and free,
“My name is Bill Gates Murdoch Koch Michelle Rhee.
I’ve heard of your troubles; I’ve heard you’re unhappy.
But I can fix that; I’m the fix-it-up chappie.
I’ve come here to help you; I have what you need.
My prices are low, and I work with great speed,
and my work is one hundred per cent guaranteed.”

Read the rest of this gem here.  You should also follow his blog – Boonman doesn’t post often, but when it does it is well worth reading.


Right, after all that poetry you are surely feeling inspired, so do feel free to add your own masterpieces in the comments below or as send as an email ( or Tweet and I will do a post showcasing the new additions.

I will leave you with my own offering:

Pressure Cooker 

it doesn’t matter

you’re poor

Or covered in sores

your tummy is growling

you’re cold to your core

You’ve no comics or books

and no-one to read with

and no-one has time

– who can you plead with?

we want to inspire you

to celebrate your skills

develop your talents

and show them you will

astound with your writing

amaze with your art

code something awesome

show that you’re smart

okay, you can’t focus

or think school’s a joke

or think it’s all pointless

because you’re all broke

even when you don’t know

what’s coming next

you’re meant to succeed

to be a success

below the standard

we’ll take the blame

because Hekia says

your chance is the same

by Dianne


Education Reform Poetry Slam

quillOkay guys, here’s a fun challenge:  

Write a haiku or other style of poem to reflect your views on education reforms in NZ or globally.

Share them below in the comments or email them to me at

If you are feeling super creative, feel free to make a video of you performing your piece, and I will upload them.

7.7.13 STOP PRESS UPDATE:  There are some great poems already entered – see them in the comments below – and don’t miss the SUPERB entry by Mr Boon.

Here are two  crackers to get you started…

Hekia, so smug
You have no understanding
Of education.

by Alison K

and What Teacher Make, by Taylor Mali (Badass ex Teacher)

Add your poems to the comments below…

Now go, create.

~ Dianne

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