A Poem (Plus Stage Directions): Why Teachers Can’t Remember Names at the Beginning of the Year

Mrs Ram: [After much reflection, Mrs. Ram realizes she’s called a student Alyssa instead of Allie the entire class period. Allie never once corrected Mrs. Ram. Mrs. Ram pulls Allie aside after class ends.]
Hey Allie,
Mrs. Ram apologizes profoundly
for messing up your first name so soundly.
Please realize my dear,
at the beginning of the year,
just how many names teachers have to memorize.
Allie, I see you rolling your eyes!
There’s one of me and 94 of you.
Isn’t it obvious why I’m becoming unglued?
Allie, again, stop rolling your eyes!
Give me a second to rectify!
In your class alone,
wait for your mind to be blown,
there’s a Brandon, Brady, and Brayden!
And three more that rhyme: Jayden, Caden, and Aiden!
To make matters worse, in second block I’ve got two Breannas,
but one says it “onna” and the other “anna”–How’s that for bananas?
Throughout the day there’s a Bree, Breelyn, and a Brea,
then come the Sophs: Sophocles, Sophie, and Sophia.
Enough with the eyes Allie! I’m almost done;
I just need one more minute hun.
You’ve also got to consider–I’m getting old.
I’ve taught an entire family of Goldes.
Six years ago, I had Ezra, now I have Ari who’s the last.
How can it be my fault if I confuse current students’ names with their siblings’ names from the past?
Not to mention the three sets of identical twins that I teach . . .
Getting their names right on the first try is as impossible as removing stains without bleach!
Allie, before you interrupt, I’ve got one last point to make.
What’s with the abundance of Kens this year, for goodness sake?
McKennas, Kenneths, Kendalls, Kendras, Kennys, Kennedies, and McKenzies?????
Quickly matching names to new faces addles my mind into a frenzy!
[Allie finally manages to get a word in edgewise–drops the mic.]
Mrs. Ram: [Embarrassment in her tone, but not completely surprised . . . ]
Dear lord! You’re not Allie or Alyssa but your name’s Hadley?
Hadley, my sincere apologies; tomorrow, fingers crossed, I won’t screw up your name as badly.

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