because life doesn’t fit in a file folder

Words To My Students Whom I Adore

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springtime classes, originally uploaded by Wolfram Burner.

People generally remember a favorite teacher, but what they may not realize is that we teachers also become very connected to our students. We aren’t supposed to have “favorites,” but there are one or two who always weasel their way into our hearts because of their talent or wit, their work ethic or their ability to get their peers back on track. Over the years I have collected many favorite students. They were not always stellar English students when I taught them, but they have all become stellar people. This poem was written many years ago while teaching at Metairie Park Country Day School, but it epitomizes how I feel at the end of each academic year.

To My Students

We pepper the field
sprawled in comfort,
air on faces
in hair, on cheeks, freckled
and sun-kissed, we
relax together, separately
seeking inspiration and
silence in a too noisy world
saturated by too many good ideas
already created. Children shriek
around us, the squeak of
swing-sets swinging, pony-tails
bobbing, we were children
once too, clawing at the dirt
unafraid to scream or spit
point or stare, but now
we care.
These months
we have explored
together, through heat
and humidity
through the wet-kiss of storm, we have
connected, grown closer
a tight group of bodies
and minds which dip
and soar like butterflies
over cornfields. It is springtime
already and they
blossom before me, open their petals
stickily preparing for bigger gardens.
As we sit scattered across the field
surrounded by outside smells
I miss them already,
these people that I love.

Tell me about one of your favorite teachers!

4 thoughts on “Words To My Students Whom I Adore

  1. Hey Renee,

    What a sweet poem! Sonia has been blessed with a wonderful first grade teacher who really helped her blossom this year. I have found a few moments here and there to take a peek at what you’ve been creating here, but have little time to delve deep into anything these days between my full time job, part time private practice, parenting and oh yeah, somewhere in there is my husband (& last of all, me…) It is fun to have moments of “web connection” though… I do appreciate your thoughts on how much to be involved as a parent in your kid’s school work. Speaking of which, Scott just left to print off a bunch of pictures of sea otters for Sonia’s poster presentation. Hmmm… food for thought. Great work- I’m so glad you are writing and may be published!

  2. Love your blog!

  3. When I took Great Books my senior year in high school, the amazingly brilliant and sensitive teacher, Miss Landor, sized me up and thought, “That is THE perfect girl for Joe Kolman. Too bad they’ll never meet.” Joe having been a student of hers 5 years earlier — another favorite.
    Reader: I married him! We met in New York at a party 1000 miles from Great Books. But that teacher had us pegged.
    We, in turn, had her to our wedding.
    Some teachers know us better than ANYONE.
    — Lenore Skenazy

    1. Lenore: I just saw this comment! I can’t believe I missed it. Happy anniversary and raise a cup to the teacher who knew you better than you knew yourself! 😉

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