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That’s not a good enough excuse – Or it is? Teaching through rhyme and poetry

That’s not a good enough excuse – Or it is? Teaching through rhyme and poetry

June 21, 2017

By Sue Munroe

excuses photo

As an educator, it can’t possible NOT be my duty to engage student in stimulating activities. However, no matter how well-prepared our classes are, how much research we do on effective methods of delivery, we all fall short once in awhile in lessons. It’s simply part of the not-so-delightful side of educating. At the beginning of the academic year, I was given a level 4 group of very bright and humorous students. We shared an ample load of jokes and general sarcasm, much to my delight, and they generally kept focused as we prepared for the impending IELTS exam at the end of the cycle. This one particular afternoon lesson, I found my keen students a little on the inattentive and passive side. They also seemed to be creeping in late. They would open the door and greet me with an excuse and slip into their seats. It was obvious we wouldn’t be delving into the depths of pie charts that afternoon. An air of distraction reigned the class, and I had to think of something. One particular student offered up a very entertaining excuse as he closed the door thanks to his keen wit in English, and I simply couldn’t stop laughing. As firm as we are meant to be on marking students late, I decided that today their tardiness would be the focus of the plan.  We began brainstorming about the excuses that students make for tardiness (and yes they had tons!) My page was soon full of notes, and once a student entered, they couldn’t sit down until they had given the class a summary of why they missed the first few minutes of class, and it had to be as strange and funny as possible! I announced to them I would be writing a poem for them to read made only from their excuses. Their faces beamed with pride! They had become a part of a very creative and eclectic process! It took me no time to write “Excuses, excuses”, dedicated to my cycle 1 level 4 batch of students. Who says every excuse is a bad one?

Excuses, Excuses   08/09/16

Hi hello and Welcome

Welcome to my little class

Here we’re like a family can’t you see

But that which I love the most

The excuses are a gas!


Here they come

Here they come cruising through the door

With a great big smile

How do they find these stories

That never seem to bore!


“I swear it’s the truth”

I hear more than once or twice

There’s a match I’ve got to get to

I know it will be nice


Why do cars crashes only happen

When it’s ten to one

It seems my little students

Are having too much fun!


You won’t believe this story Miss,

When I drove to class

There was so much traffic

I simply couldn’t pass!


Because the line of cars

Blocked all the parking on the way

No lunch did I have and sadly

I got lead astray

At the canteen I went for food

But wasn’t all that great

My stomach couldn’t digest

That was which on my plate


I creeped up the stairs to the quiet room

Then I saw my friend

Who had just slipped on the stairs

I had to stop and chat Miss

How could I not really care?


Miss, Miss please oh please

Please don’t mark me late

You see the day I have

Been having

Just simply isn’t going great


Then upon arrival to the English class

I remembered my Land Cruiser

Was running short of gas!

When I turned around much to my dismay

Mr. Mokhtar wrote a letter

With my name and the date!


You see it’s not the first time

I have not arrived so soon

It wasn’t my choice that time

To stop a fight outside the bathroom


My Miss will hear another tale

These things just aren’t so new

Quite often she’s not too angry

Because she is Ms. Sue!

June 21, 2017