Journal of Self-Improvement of an English Philology Student

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

Here is a collection of poems I have written throughout the fourth semester of my studies of the English language. The text was supposed to be a short journal indicating my growth and development as both an English student and an English teacher, but it became something much bigger than that.

Entry no.1 - 02.27.19:  

Oh Dictionary, My Dictionary 

Choosing a good dictionary is no easy task,  

So how to do it?” many of you may ask. 

Synonymsantonymsmeanings and numbers, 

Those ain’t things you ask some random barbers. 

Mirriam-Webster is one I use quite frequently, 

For American English I prefer rather drastically. 

You might ask Google for a definition as well, 

Though it being accurate is a very tough sell. 



(E)xtremely (R)adiant (A)lbeit (S)upremely (M)aximizing (U)nique (S)ymptoms 

Italy, Germany, France, England,  

Denmark, Nigeria, Russia, Iceland. 

Opportunities lie in each and every single one, 

You miss a huge opportunity if you choose none. 

Spain has always had a soft spot in my heart, 

An English Language Assistant seems like a nice start. 

Seven months in Mallorca seems like paradise, 

Not really such an incredibly huge sacrifice. 

Getting paid would be a nice bonus too, 

would love to visit some big Spanish zoo. 


Dictionary-based activity: 

The Young Bucks 

Groups of four students are needed to begin the game,  

The right pronunciation will be needed to be exclaimed. 

On a blackboard a difficult word will be written, 

And it wouldn’t be one as easy as ‘kitten’. 

Dictionaries are then used for the word to be found, 

The student needs to try to make just the right sound. 

Representatives of each group all try their luck, 

The closest to perfection gets a metaphorical ‘buck’. 

The team with the most ‘bucks’ to their name, 

Leaves the class as the winner of the game. 


Entry no.2 - 06.03.2019: 


‘Do our students progress?’ is a question every teacher should ask,   

For our greatest responsibility is to think of it from the very dusk. 

Learning new concepts in class may be a difficult job for some, 

All of their difficult questions are therefore more than welcome. 

Our pupils may not fully understand the many books we’ve prepared, 

Recognizing that is the key to your class atmosphere remaining unscathed. 

Some may prefer to write, some may prefer to talk, some prefer silence, 

Noticing their concerns and anxieties is crucial to proper guidance. 


Take a seat 

The horseshoe sitting arrangement is one I blatantly prefer,  

All the other arrangements seem a tiny bit unfair. 

The teacher is still in the heart of the class, 

The students are free to discuss issues en masse. 

Every person is able to look directly at another, 

Students and teachers prefer it as I managed to discover. 


Entry no.3 - 13.03.19: 

The Power of Positivity 

“Hey, how are you?” as trivial as it may seem, 

May drastically improve your students’ esteem. 

Start a school day with a smile on your face, 

It kicks off the class from just the right place. 

Chaos and turmoil are fierce enemies of learning, 

Make it so the students smile when they’re returning. 

Search for the kids’ strengths and build on them, 

It is our job to create, not for us to condemn. 


Entry no.4 - 20.03.2019: 


The beauty of teaching children in creativity lies,  

When I see books with no images the inner me cries. 

On technology the new generation grows up, 

We must find a way to fill this generation gap. 

Videos, presentations, images, games, 

You might even play some song on your bass. 

Ideas and inspirations all around you can find, 

You just have to always keep an open mind. 


Entry no. 5 – 27.03.2019:  


Wish I was there, unfortunately I was not,  

I’m sure I would have learned a lot. 


Entry no.6 - 03.04.2019: 


The issue of motivation can’t be easily cracked,  

That’s why it is essential that we quickly react. 

The Finns do an exquisite job triggering students’ abilities, 

Making use of a myriad of creative and enjoyable activities. 

Inspired students take advantage of every resource at their disposal, 

Constantly trying to find new ways of motivation is a good proposal. 


Entry no.7 - 10.04.2019: 


Teaching unplugged is something I’ve come to respect,  

Going anti-system is always a great plan to architect. 

Coursebooks nowadays tend to be as tedious as ever, 

Where something is I look for I have no idea whatsoever. 

Focusing on the student’s needs and drives seems like the right path, 

Teaching a foreign language is much more complex than teaching math. 


Entry no.8 - 17.04.2019: 


English teachers who mispronounce words make me very mad,  

If we could kick them out of the system, that would be a great start. 

Speaking in a foreign language is the quality I personally value the most, 

If you can’t make my skills any better maybe you should ghost. 

I am aware that may seem a little harsh and a bit exaggerated, 

But every teacher who’s mispronounced, I’ve always hated. 

Scary thing is, it happens to teachers all across the educational board, 

One can’t help but feel anger and frustration towards that horde. 

I try to improve my pronunciation every day of my life, 

Watching films and TV and listening to podcasts and music alike. 

We must remember that we can and always need to improve, 

Even if you have just made that university job move. 


Entry no. 9 – 24.04.2019: 

Feedback in the Clouds 

Mistakes are sometimes made by every one of us,  

So don’t immediately throw yourself under the bus. 

Respect the views of those that are trying to help, 

You may treat them as your personal type of Yelp. 

Positives and negatives are equally important, 

We shouldn’t only want someone’s endorsement. 

Our word clouds also need to be assessed, 

For it is a skill, it for sure ain’t no beta test. 

Remembering by association is a linguistic key 

To a door where all knowledge is supposed to be. 


Entry no. 10 – 08.05.2019: 

You Wanna Play a Game? 

Many of us are used to lessons being rather tedious,  

Saying the word ‘game’ during class makes us all nervous. 

But more often than not games can teach us a lot of cool stuff, 

You just can’t treat your involvement in them as a personal bluff. 

Scrabble particularly is one I surely will use, 

Many new words you can there produce. 

There are dozens of games a teacher may use to their advantage, 

Just be prepared that there always may be some damage. 


Entry no.11 - 15.05.2019: 

Slovakian Wisdom 

A foreigner’s perspective is something I always appreciate,  

Only good things may come from a “Teaching English” debate. 

To be quite honest I’ve never been to Slovakia myself, 

Though it certainly is something that’s laid on my brain’s shelf. 

Teaching English in another country is an idea I often entertain, 

Teaching it here in Poland all my life would surely make me go insane. 

Introducing grammar is something we’ve focused on the most, 

‘Cause if you don’t know the basics you are pretty much toast. 

Surprisingly, grammar lessons don’t have to be tedious and dreary, 

If I had to do them as my former teachers did, I would commit hara-kiri. 

Nevertheless, it is refreshing to hear about other country’s ways, 

Being well-rounded and versatile is a quality that always deserves praise. 


Entry no.12 - 22.05.2019: 

Unofficial Assessor  

I distinctly remember my matura oral exam,  

I think I had a tremendous amount of fun. 

I wasn’t stressed at all, though many were, 

Understandably so, written exams most prefer. 

Wouldn’t like to sit on the other side though, 

Having my hands tied and a script is a no-go. 

Helping kids with English is what I’m always up for, 

I could really see myself as a very successful mentor. 


Entry no. 13 – 29.05.2019: 

The Essence 

This semester I’ve learned a lot of interesting stuff,  

Teaching young kids will undeniably be really tough. 

I’m therefore glad I don’t plan on doing it full-time, 

I’m starting to think I’d even be better at pantomime. 

Some interest in becoming a teacher I used to possess, 

Thankfully now it’s been annihilated with a hydraulic press. 

Not literally though, although that would be kind of cool, 

No, I’m taking about all the red tape you encounter in school. 

I truly have tremendous respect for teachers at every rank, 

But I’d rather have an appropriate amount of money in the bank. 

Not that it’s all about money, it really is not, 

Believe it or not, I love teaching the young lot. 

But one has to think selfishly in order to thrive, 

You get stuck in a sucky place – you’re no longer alive. 

Submitted: July 02, 2019

© Copyright 2020 PopiolekB. All rights reserved.

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