Friday, June 14, 2019

Poem for a Retiring Teacher

A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a poem for one of my former teaching colleagues who was retiring. I had worked with Robin for a dozen years. She came to my elementary school after I'd been teaching there for more than twenty years. She was a wonderful addition to our teaching staff. She was hard-working, dedicated, loved children, and got along well with everyone.

As I was thinking about how to approach writing a poem about my friend, a poem by Mary O'Neill titled Miss Norma Jean Pugh, First Grade Teacher came to mind. I pulled The Random House Book of Poetry for Children off the shelf and read the poem. It was the perfect inspiration for my poem about Robin.  (Click here to read O'Neill's poem.)

By Elaine Magliaro

On a morning in May that's sunny and bright
When robins are singing with great delight
And butterflies flit through blossomed air
And lilac scents are everywhere
And honeybees buzz around apple trees
And you feel the breath of spring in a gentle breeze...
When your whole wide world seems fresh and new
And sparkles with beads of morning dew
And you'd like to fly a kite or climb a tree,
Play with your friends down by the sea,
Ride your bike and roller blade,
And have an exciting escapade--
Who cares if two and two are four...
Or five or six or even more?
Who cares if Earth is shaped like a sphere
Or December's the last month of the year?
Well, now I do--I really do
Even though I didn't used to--
Not until I met Mrs. Berg!
She's pretty old as teachers go--
Fifty-four or six or eight or so--
But she makes her students WANT to KNOW!


Laura Shovan has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week.




jama said...

What a delightful poem. I'm sure Robin is thrilled!

Linda B said...

It's wonderful, Elaine. I imagine your friend Robin will want to read it over and over, a lovely thank you and tribute.

author amok said...

Oh my gosh, I love the turn this poem takes. Robin sounds like the kind of teacher who truly encourages kids' curiosity.

Kay said...

Wonderful! I love the turn at the end. What could be a better tribute to a teacher than inspiring students to want to learn.

laurasalas said...

This is lovely, Elaine. I just love the way it went from "who cares" to "I do." Isn't that really the beauty of what great teachers do. So cool that you were asked to do this!

Ruth said...

Lovely job!