When The Teacher Isn't Looking

And Other Funny School Poems


By Kenn Nesbitt

Illustrated by Mike Gordon

Formats and Prices




$9.99 CAD



  1. ebook $7.99 $9.99 CAD
  2. Trade Paperback $9.99 $12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around August 7, 2012. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Students and teachers will roar as Kenn Nesbitt pokes fun at silly school topics with dozens of wacky poems.

Who knew school lunches and detention could be so funny? Kenn Nesbitt, that’s who! Do you attend a school like the one Kenn Nesbitt describes in this hysterically funny collection of poems? There’s a frenzied food fight in the cafeteria. For show-and-tell, kids burp the ABCs. Recently, “pet days” have been banned (and for good reason). And the funniest things happen when the teacher isn’t looking. Kids and teachers rate these rhymes A+ (and you will, too).


I Can’t Wait for Summer

I can’t wait for summer, when school days are done,

to spend the days playing outside in the sun.

I won’t have to study. No homework, no tests.

Just afternoons spent on adventures and quests.

Instead of mathematics and writing reports,

I’ll go to the park and play summertime sports.

Instead of assignments, report cards, and grades,

I’ll get to play baseball and watch the parades.

I’ll swing on the playground. I’ll swim in the pool

instead of just practicing lessons in school.

The second the school year is finally done

I’ll spend every minute with friends having fun.

I hardly can wait for the end of the year.

I’m counting the days until summer is here.

It’s hard to be patient. It’s hard to be cool.

It’s hard to believe it’s the first day of school.

Getting Dressed for School

I must have been too sleepy

getting dressed for school today.

I tried to tuck my shirt in,

but I couldn’t make it stay.

I also couldn’t tie my shoes.

I fumbled with the laces.

I snagged my scarf, and now some yarn

is dangling from my braces.

My socks are different colors,

and my pants are inside out.

My sweater from the hamper left me

smelling like a trout.

I thought I put a hat on

to control my crazy hair.

The hat turned out to be a pair

of purple underwear.

I spilled my breakfast on my clothes

and headed into school.

My friends, of course, were all impressed.

I’d never looked so cool.

Running Late

I overslept. I’m running late.

My mom is making such a fuss.

If I so much as hesitate

I probably will miss the bus.

I grab my socks and underwear

and quickly pull on all my clothes.

I haven’t time to comb my hair

or brush my teeth or blow my nose.

I wolf my breakfast, kiss my mom,

and barrel madly out the door.

I’m feeling anything but calm.

I’ve never been this late before.

I run like crazy down the street.

I check my watch. It’s almost eight.

I wish I’d had some more to eat,

but, man, I simply can’t be late.

I barely make it there in time.

To miss the bus would not be cool.

I wouldn’t mind except that I’m

the guy who drives the kids to school.

Last Night’s Nightmares

Some aliens from outer space

came down in UFOs.

They kidnapped me and shoved

a slimy brain probe up my nose.

A horde of screaming monkeys

chased me halfway to Japan,

and Transylvanian vampire bats

attacked me as I ran.

Demented ogres tackled me

and tied me in a knot,

and wicked witches cackled

as they cooked me in a pot.

A starving three-eyed dinosaur

then drowned me in his drool.

But scarier than all of these,

I dreamed I was in school.

I Wake Today

I wake today,

get out of bed,

then stretch and yawn

and scratch my head.

I find my clothes.

I pull them on.

I wonder where

my homework’s gone.

I grab a breakfast

bar for fuel,

and hoist my pack

and head to school.

When I arrive

I’m truly shocked.

The lights are off.

The door is locked.

I check my watch.

It’s me, not them.

I woke too soon.

It’s 4:00 a.m.


As I’m sitting in the classroom

with a blank look on my face,

I am staring out the window

at the emptiness of space.

While the teacher drones, explaining

how to multiply a fraction,

my mind is rolling slowly

to a state of numb inaction.

Now my eyes are growing heavy

and my head begins to fall,

as I drift away to slumberland

against the classroom wall.

I’m awakened by the teacher

as she loudly clears her throat.

It appears while I was napping

all the students took a vote.


On Sale
Aug 7, 2012
Page Count
80 pages
Running Press

Kenn Nesbitt

About the Author

Kenn Nesbitt acted as Children’s Poet Laureate from 2013-2015. He has published many books of verse for children and has been a vocal advocate for bringing the joy of poetry into a daily routine. He lives in a big old house in Spokane, Washington, with his family.

Christoph Niemann is an award-winning artist and designer. His art can be seen in the New York Times, on the cover of the New Yorker magazine, and in a variety of books for children and adults, including I Lego N.Y., Subway, and Abstract City. He lives in Berlin and Brooklyn.

Learn more about this author