‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, When All Through The School

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This short and quirky blog, is my own twist on ‘Twas the night before Christmas.

The context for this poem; is a seasonal-twist on a clandestine group of teachers, who have premeditated a plan, to sneak into their own school building over the Christmas break. Their mission: to steal all the students’ books in order to eliminate marking, forever!

Featuring narration by headteacher @RachelOrr. Click here to listen to the narration, whilst reading on below.

‘Twas the night before Christmas by @TeacherToolkit

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the school
Not a teacher was marking, now isn’t that cool?
The cup
boards unlocked in the classroom, beware;
In the hope that the caretaker, wouldn’t be there.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the school Not a teacher was marking, now isn’t that cool? Photo Credit: selkovjr via Compfight cc
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the school
Not a teacher was marking, now isn’t that cool? Photo Credit: selkovjr via Compfight cc

The students were absent all back in their beds,
With visions of cover-lessons, danced in their heads;
The head teacher with cloak and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

Just settled down for a long winter’s nap... Photo Credit: *Katch* via Compfight cc
Just settled down for a long winter’s nap… Photo Credit: *Katch* via Compfight cc

When out on the yard there arose such a natter,
I sprang from the bed to see t’was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

I sprang from the bed to see t’was the matter... Photo Credit: Iguana Jo via Compfight cc
I sprang from the bed to see t’was the matter…
Photo Credit: Iguana Jo via Compfight cc

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of shadows on objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should feature,
But, a big black-bin, above eight fellow teachers.

Photo Credit: Paul Seventy via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Paul Seventy via Compfight cc

With a coat and her bag, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, it must be Miss. Nicks.
Quicker than an email, her teachers they came,
And she whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

With a coat and her bag, so lively and quick... Photo Credit: AstridWestvang via Compfight cc
With a coat and her bag, so lively and quick…
Photo Credit: AstridWestvang via Compfight cc

“Now, Jill! now, Frances! now, Nancy and Dixon!
Now Sid! Now, Sarah! Now, Rhonda and Kickson!
To the top of the corridor! To the stage in the hall!
Now hide away! Throw away! Stash away all!”

 To the top of the corridor! To the stage in the hall! Photo Credit: JimyJOp via Compfight cc
To the top of the corridor! To the stage in the hall!
Photo Credit: JimyJOp via Compfight cc

As wet ink that befall on the pages they flew,
If the books meet a student, don’t let them review!
So, up to each classroom, the teachers they knew,
With a bin-full of padlocks, scissors and glue.

Photo Credit: kennysarmy via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: kennysarmy via Compfight cc

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the staff-room.
The clinking of padlocks you could only presume.
As I drew in my hand, and grabbed my class books,
In came Miss Nicks, with a bin full of books!

She was dressed all in stripes, from her head to her foot,
And her clothes were all tarnished with glue, tar and soot;
A bundle of books she had flung in her bin,
And she looked like a pedlar just closing me in.

Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Lotus Carroll via Compfight cc

Her eyes; how they glowered! Her dimples, how scary!
Her cheeks were like crystal, her nose, big and hairy!
Her droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the point of her chin was as white as the snow;

The page of a book she held tight in her teeth,
Each ripped and circled her feet in a wreath;
She had a pointed face and a little round glasses,
That shook, when she scowled, just like her classes.

And filled all the cupboards; the bins with a smirk... Photo Credit: MattusB via Compfight cc
And filled all the cupboards; the bins with a smirk… Photo Credit: MattusB via Compfight cc

She was frail and thin, a sight for sore eyes,
And I laughed when I saw her, in spite of her guise;
A squint of her eye and a twist of her head,
Soon she hinted, I had nothing to dread;

She spoke not a word, but went straight to work,
And filled all the cupboards; the bins with a smirk,
And laying her finger aside of her nose,
And giving a nod, up the corridor she rose;

And away they all flew, like the edge of a chisel.... Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc
And away they all flew, like the edge of a chisel…. Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

She sprang to her car, to her team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew, like the edge of a chisel.
But I heard her exclaim, as they drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to marking goodnight!”

Photo Credit: angelocesare via Compfight cc
As they drove out of sight; “Happy Christmas to all, and to marking goodnight!”
Photo Credit: angelocesare via Compfight cc

Reference:

Until recently, it was believed that the original prose was written in 1822 for Clement Clarke Moore‘s two daughters, Margaret and Charity, and later anonymously published in the Troy [New York] Sentinel on December 23, 1823. But, according to University of Toronto English Library, in 2000, Don Foster, in his book Author Unknown: On the Trail of Anonymous (New York: Henry Holt, 2000) was able to demonstrate that Moore could not have been the author. Foster concluded that it was probably written by Major Henry Livingston Jr.

@TeacherToolkit

In 2010, Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit from a simple Twitter account through which he rapidly became the 'most followed teacher on social media in the UK'. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of being most influential in the field of education. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day ... Sharing resources and ideas online as @TeacherToolkit, he has built this website (c2008) which has been described as one of the 'most influential blogs on education in the UK', winning the UK Blog Awards (2018). Read more...

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