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During my lifetime, teachers have been kings.
Mr. Ellison, with his football obsession, dared
declare the Father worse than der Führer.
Across the hall, Mr. Summerhayes gave us life
lessons, like adults have first names too.

Paul was next in line. A stoker of fiery debate –
he painted landscapes on political wings,
propaganda and the bluebirds of South Wales.
He tried his best but Pete pulled me aside
when depression began to blacken my mind.

Bigger steps made things more complex.
But he welcomed me back to his class,
always asked how my mother was doing,
embraced my erratic emails and career plans,
until we lost contact after his retirement party.

Now I write this poem from a pit of shame –
a decade on and my destiny remains lost.
Sometimes I meet royalty again in the shops.
My head is hung and my words are cut short.
I’ll never stop trying to be what you thought.
Poem #4 from my collection 'A Shropshire Grad'. Originally written as a competition entry for Teacher Appreciation Week, I found the personal reflections included were too raw to throw away forever after being overlooked in the contest.
Her sternness was as keen as a razor blade,
Cutting beneath the skin with such savagery
It was as unsettling as a million flies
Feasting on dead doe on the side of the road
I was the doe, she was the bloodthirsty fly
You couldn't swat away in a day in your life

Whenever my eraser kissed the paper,
Her eyes would quickly dart over to me
She would pounce on me like a tiger
"What are you erasing, girl?
"Make up you mind, girl!"
"What's the matter, girl?"

My words would scatter like a game of scrabble
I felt threatened by her. I could do nothing right!
Every move I made was a disgrace in her eyes
Yet, there was a softness beneath her hardness
A smile threatening to break out of her frown
A treasure buried in the dirt of her heart

Her persistence with people stood tall and strong
No ax or raging weather could ever knock it down
I threatened that quality of her, but she was tough
Tough enough to survive my awful thunderstorms
And forbearing enough to wait for the revelations
To rise within me like the morning sun

She saw potential in me like she saw a rainbow
Hiding behind storm clouds and white skies
She used all of her strength to draw it out
Even if it meant putting on a mask of cruelty
And beating me with knowledge till' my soul
Escaped my body and the torturous classroom

I guess that's what pedagogues do
To those who hold the keys to brilliancy.
Memories of my fifth grade teacher inspired me to write this. I hope you enjoy! Any criticism is appreciated!
Bridjitta Jun 13
"Edward, stay after class. The rest, you may now take your lunch". Everyone rushed towards the door while Edward sat on the teacher's table, completely puzzled.
"Uhh... Yes Mr. Fabio?" he asked.
"What was the performance task for this quarter Edward? "
" Oh. To create a poem about science? "
" Uhuh. And what did you write? "
" Uhmmm.. a poem for a science teacher. Is that the reason why you called for my attention sir? "
" Nope. It's not. " Edward gave a sigh of relief and smiled. " What is it then, sir? "
"I told you to stay because I know that you did not make this poem! " Mr. Fabio remarked angrily. Edward was now sweating yet he denied the accusation. He tried to persuade his Physics teacher that he was the one who made the poem. Yet his teacher seemed to be a hundred percent  sure that he was not the author.
"How could you tell?" He finally remarked.
"Because that was the exact poem your mother made for me 15 years ago! " Mr. Fabio shouted. Edward was astonished and he couldn't believe what he just heard. "Wait... ww---what?! Mom?!"
"See. I knew it wasn't you Edward. Next time, when it comes to projects, don't be too dependent on others. You are the one being graded here, not Melissa".
" How'd you know my mom? Was she your student before? "
With a deep sigh, Mr. Fabio began narrating, while Edward sat facing his teacher.
"Your mother was not only an ordinary student. She was one of the brightest students I had. Melissa loved me, not only as a teacher, but something beyond the boundaries. But during that time, teacher student relationships were illicit, so despite the mutual feelings, I decided to hide my love for her and started to act cold and stubborn. "
" So you never had a relationship? "
" Nope. "
" Then what about the poem? "
"Oh. That poem" Mr. Fabio chuckled.
"In front everyone, yes. She recited that poem. That's how confident your mother was back then, and I could see that you've got that confidence too. After that I started to become known in this school. Not as a physics teacher but as the one your mother was head over heels with. Actually I even loved her more. But it was forbidden"
" So what did you do? Did you secretly confess or what? "
" No. I told her to stop."
" But why?"
" Because I am her teacher, and she is only my student"
" I thought you loved her too sir?"
" Well, yes. My love for her never stopped. Yet I had to set the line between us, because I don't want to lose a job, and I don't want her to be judged even more. Your mother was an achiever, you know"
" Did you actually try to confess?"
"Yes, during their graduation day. After the ceremony, I tried to approach her. But I saw another guy approaching her as well, giving her a bouquet of flowers. All I knew was that the guy is an engineering student".
" Dad. That's my dad sir."
" it's good to hear then. I thought all things were already going well. I thought that was the perfect time because she's not my student anymore. But I realized that because of pretending to be ruthless, I've hurt her a lot."
" Maybe mom got tired of waiting" and both laughed at each other.
" That day broke my heart Edward. You see, I still love your mom but yeah, she's got a family and now she haves you. " Both were in awkward silence. Then Edward decided to ask his teacher one last question.
"Sir, will I get deductions for this?"
"No worries. Just promise me you won't do it again okay? You may now take your lunch."
Edward bid farewell to his teacher. Mr. Fabio did the same. And as Edward closed the door, he peeked one last time, only to see his teacher in tears embracing the poem he submitted.
Tatiana May 22
I'm a good student and that's about it. I get good grades; I am a good kid. I'm smart and people say I'm going places. But I'm going nowhere, I'm trapped by expectations. I've made decisions based on safety, and not on who I want to be. Because I'm a student, I listen to authority. I trick myself into thinking I'm free and I get to decide my future. But I'm living on regimented time, saved and controlled by bells and teachers. I'm a good student, but I'm not good at life and my ambition has been dead for a long time. I'm just a student who knows how to pass. I'm a good student but I'm not made to last.
Do you ever go through your drafts and find something you wrote in high school? Yeah, I'm feeling real bad for past Tatiana right now.
I was going to edit this into a more typical poem format but the paragraph style of it reminds me of writing short answers in tests which I did a lot of when I was a student. So I'm keeping it that way.
Jana Pelzom May 16
There is a blessed fool
Who writes to conclude
A chapter in thine life of book.

Such thanks I must give
To the mission unfulfilled
And the tears that can now save no crook.

What grueling works
I was compelled to task,
Thy give not even little regard.

Thy doth be so charming first,
Then like some marriages
Thee do make me so haggard.

Not of love,
Not of knowledge,
But now just so for pride,

Thee I cannot leave now;
For I am sworn in fealty
And my grades I cannot let slide.

And thus it ends
My love and my hate
I can’t really thank any other.

Some come out with red ribbons tied,
While I can only come out
And say the student in me has died.
An Ode to Thesis © 2020 Jana Pelzom
MARS May 15
A word like no other.
The world next to a mother
No matter how far away I go,
She always has me tethered

To my roots, my culture. I never forget
That horrendous day we met.
A wee babby in his uniform, parrying
Away at first sight.

You carved every inch of a masterpiece
Which grew ever thankful to you.
Though never chanted,
Your sobriquet remains holy in mine heart.

Shall God bless you
And life bequeath its bliss
For you, are a soul…
Crafted to craft.
This intriguing poem written by MARS explains the unconditional bond between a good teacher and a student. A teacher plays a major role in every individual's life and is considered as one next to a mother. She teaches through all her difficulties and sows light into every student, ultimately crafting them into a masterpiece. This vivid detail is brought out to the reader's eyes by MARS.
I did it
I got in
And just like that
I can see my future again
That fat, red "F" marked on my paper
Is the sign of utter failure
My heart drops like a broken elevator
How can I tell her?

My mother is a broken record
Her words pierce my heart like a sword
"Another 'F' for a lousy student!"
If only she knew I was prudent...

And of course, my friends
If only I could see through their lens!
They're the Albert Einsteins, the Stephen Hawkings
They look at me as if I am a crab talking

Even before I pick up a calculator or a pen
I know that I am never going to be those wise men
Changing the world with their immense talent
I know who I am, so I remain absent

In a class where I don't belong.
Everyone feels stupid once in a while. Thoughts?
In this day and age, there are standards of learning, not standards of living
We are told you must "live to learn" not learn to live in a world that is dominated by test scores and letter grades
What college you attend and what fraternity you're in
It's keeping up with Jones' and pretending to be someone you're not
to fit in, to win so we stay in disguise
But at the end of the day, it's a thick veil of lies.
We chalk up our life to things people think we should be
But what is it about me that people need to see?
That I'm a daughter...a sister...a warrior
Or I'm a son on the run with ambition in my veins.
We've got so much more to offer than the grades and projects we sustain
So look at me...can you see me through your red pen marked haze that I'm more...I am more than a score
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