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
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.
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
and you whispered,
“We need you
and your stories
that like a fresh path
will take us to new vistas.”
Read the rest of the poem here.
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””
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.
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
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
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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.
Love it, “August is the Sunday night of summer.” Yes, those little ones give us that hope of new beginnings throughout the seasons. Thanks for sharing!
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.
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Good teachers are people we remember our whole lives. The things they say really matter. It’s an awesome potential for good.
I needed to read this poem too, Catherine – thanks for sharing it!
“I carry your smile
and faith inside”
That is something to aspire to.
I love these lines:
“I read and reread your notes
A teacher’s affirmation is so powerful. What a beautiful and positive poem for this time of year.
Love that last stanza. This one’s new for me. Thanks for sharing. Perfect for these Sunday nights of summer.
Yup. Let’s all be That Teacher to the ones who need us most.
Oh, Catherine, this was just tooooo perfect for the end of my grueling 60 hour week. Love my work for this very reason!
Oh my, this poem gave me chills. So very, very inspiring! Thanks, Catherine.
I wish you the blessing of stars and the smell of gingerbread! Have a wonderful beginning.
A must read for all teachers. Thank you for sharing, Catherine.
PS – “August is the Sunday night of summer.” – hee hee