It’s Poetry Friday and this week I have been thinking about teachers, partly because I am always asked about which parts of my own life appear in my books, and also partly because I saw this amazing tribute to a teacher online, which made me weep.
Anyway, as a result of this introspection, I’ve started blogging about the teacher characters in my various books – yesterday I posted about Stanley and Elizabeth in 1915, and over the next few weeks I am going to post about several of my other teacher characters. So, today I went looking for poems about teachers.
In Pearl Verses the World, Pearl has a bit of an up and down relationship with her teacher, Miss Bruff. She even writes a poem about her:
A teacher known as Bruff
Was very, very gruff.
She preached and she taught
Much more than she ought
Till the class had had more than enough.
Poor Miss Bruff! The good news is, by the end of the book, Pearl has a new understanding of Miss Bruff (who, incidentally, I’ll be blogging more about on Sunday).
One of my favourite poems about teachers is Taylor Mali’s poem, which you may have come across before. It begins:
What Teachers Make
by Taylor Mali
He says the problem with teachers is
What’s a kid going to learn
from someone who decided his best option in life
was to become a teacher?
You can read the whole poem on Mali’s website here or, you can see his performance here:
Teachers do make a difference. Thanks Taylor Mali – and thanks Mr Tamatea who was such an amazing teacher that 1700 students turned out to honour him. And thanks to the teachers who populate so many of my stories and do their best to guide my young characters, to cheer them on and to just teach them.