Poetry Friday: “Ode to Teachers”


I saw a meme on Facebook recently that said something like “August is the Sunday night of summer.” And it’s true. Most teachers I know spend August gearing up for the return of our students. But any grumbling from me is really about the loss of summer’s pace and not about returning to work. For me, this poem by Pat Mora explains why we show up, everyday, with a smile for every child we see.

“Ode to Teachers”
by Pat Mora

I remember
the first day,
how I looked down,
hoping you wouldn’t see
and when I glanced up,
I saw your smile
shining like a soft light
from deep inside you.

“I’m listening,” you encourage us.
“Come on!
Join our conversation,
let us hear your neon certainties,
thorny doubts, tangled angers,”
but for weeks I hid inside.

I read and reread your notes
my writing,
and you whispered,
“We need you
and your stories
and questions
that like a fresh path
will take us to new vistas.”

Read the rest of the poem here.

Photo by Garrett Sears via unsplash.com
Photo by Garrett Sears via unsplash.com

Wishing you all a year filled with fresh paths and new vistas! Please be sure to visit Dori at Dori Reads for the Poetry Friday Roundup.

16 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Ode to Teachers”

  1. July is our new August. We are back in full swing after a rocky start. The routine is good, but I do miss the clean page of a new summer day. Thanks for this sweet ode to the kind of teacher I want to be.


  2. Slowly, your faith grew
    into my courage
    and for you—
    instead of handing you
    a note or apple or flowers—
    I raised my hand
    Oh, this is gorgeous. Spectacular poetry. Thank you. I agree. This is the teacher I want to be


  3. Yes, Catherine, we need you! This makes me misty eyed for the great teachers I have had in my life, and for all of you out there doing the important work. Thank you. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just the poem I needed to read, Catherine! With two weeks to go, I’m already mourning the loss of the easy pace of summer mornings (though I am looking forward to school and students). Thanks for sharing this wonderful poem which is, as others said, a potent reminder of the teacher I want to be.


  5. Beautiful about that teacher offering courage, and the patience, too. My older granddaughter just started 2nd grade in a new school yesterday, & she missed the first day because of our trip, & they didn’t know the date was that early. She was so scared, but came home so happy. Thank goodness for kind teachers! The poem shows it well.

    Liked by 1 person

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