A Life Marked In Pencil Shavings and Other Things

I wrote this poem in honor of my Aunt Jane who recently retired from 35 years of being an elementary teacher who truly made a difference in her students’ lives.  Who was your teacher in your life that made a difference to you?

A Life Measured In Pencil Shavings and Other Things

By Megan Hoelscher

Paper cuts,
And Pens

Putting up bulletin boards,
Marking up bad compositions,
Pushing in the chairs
As 25 little ones run, hop, skip and jump
Outside in the fenced in playground.

And Gum

Showing and telling how to count to 100,
Reading favorite books,
Writing sentences that morph into paragraphs,
As 25 little ones chatter, squirm, smile or sneer
Inside the classroom filled with desks knee high.

And Memos

Discussing progress with parents,
Putting together dioramas,
Growing beans in plastic cups,
As 25 little ones ask, push, smile or shove
Inside the classroom filled with desks knee high.

And Rules

Giving a hug, a smile, a gold star,
Devising creative ways to add, subtract, multiply and divide
Laughing at jokes,
As 25 little ones sing, dance, create or destroy
Inside the classroom filled with desks knee high

Peanut Butter Jelly Sandwiches,
And Hot Lunch tickets

Blowing a whistle,
Disciplining when necessary,
Giving money to those in need,
As 25 little ones munch, gobble, slurp and drink
Inside the cafeteria filled with noise.

Field trips,
And Phone calls home

Hugging those who are sad,
Lecturing those who are bad,
Biting back tears for those who are in need,
As 25 little ones cry, beg, plead or please
Inside the classroom with desks knee high.

A life marked in pencil shavings, books, papers, pens, crayons, markers, lessons, grading, strategizing, compromising, analyzing, buying things with one’s own money, talking, teaching, toting, preaching, paying, worrying, laughing, giving, building, breaking, loving, but most importantly learning

Can only be Valued,
And Measured

In Love

As 25 little ones give thanks in their own way
To the teacher who changed them in that classroom with desks knee high.


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