"How to Torture Your Teacher" Poetry Theater
A poem in nine voices
Summary: Advice for students looking to torment their teachers.
Presentation Suggestions: Have the students read or perform the poem in front of the class. Have the students act out the different lines while they read them. The poem can be read with nine students as shown below or with three students, each reading three stanzas.
Props: Chairs or desks, a pencil, and books would make great props. If they are not available the poem can be performed without props.
Delivery: The lines of the poem need to be read with poetic rhythm. For more information on poetic rhythm and how to perform poetry in classroom, please read the Performing Poetry section under the Teacher’s Resources.
How to Torture Your Teacher
Only raise your hand when
you want to sharpen your pencil
or go to the bathroom.
Repeat every ten minutes.
Never raise your hand
when you want to answer a question;
instead, yell, “Oooh! Oooh! Oooh!”
and then, when the teacher calls on you,
say, “I forgot what I was going to say.”
Lean your chair back,
take off your shoes, and
put your feet up on your desk.
Act surprised when the teacher
puts all four legs of your chair back on the floor.
Drop the eraser end of your pencil
on your desk.
See how high it will bounce.
Drop your books on the floor.
See how loud a noise you can make.
Get all your friends to join in.
Hold your nose,
make a face, and say, “P.U.!”
Fan the air away from your face,
and point to the kid in front of you.
On the last day of school,
lead your classmates in chanting:
“No more pencils!
No more books!
No more teachers’
Then, on your way out
the door, tell the teacher,
“Bet you’re looking forward
to summer vacation this year.
But I’ll sure miss you.
You’re the best teacher
I’ve ever had.”
© 1997 by Bruce Lansky. Adapted from the poem in No More Homework! No More Tests!, published by Meadowbrook Press. This classroom theater play version of “How to Torture Your Teacher ” is © 2005 by Meadowbrook Press.
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||Permission is given for individual school classes to perform this play and to make as many copies of the play as are needed for the students' use. All other reproduction and performance is prohibited under penalty of law. For use of this play outside individual classes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for permission.