Friday, October 05, 2007

World Teachers' Day

Today is World Teachers’ Day, an opportunity to recognize teachers and their contributions around the world. World Teachers’ Day was inaugurated in 1994 to commemorate the signing of the UNESCO/ILO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers on 5 October 1966. More than 100 countries currently celebrate World Teachers’ Day on the 5th of October.”
Celebrate the day with these poem gems.

Miss Lee and Mrs. Fuller
by Cheryl Miller Thurston

Miss Lee's rows are straight
and her cabinets are dusted.
Her blotter is fresh
and her shades are adjusted.
She always has staples
and Elmer's and tissues.
She never misplaces
a pass that she issues.

Mrs. Fuller does.

Miss Lee's books have covers;
she hasn't lost any.
Her milk money forms
come out right to the penny.
Her class in assemblies
is quite in control.
She never miscounts
or forgets to take roll.

Mrs. Fuller does.

Miss Lee has a gradebook that's neat,
not a smear.
Her lesson plan book
is complete for the year.
Her duties for playground
or lunch never tire her.
She never has principals
trying to fire her.

Mrs. Fuller does.

Miss Lee sees no value
in things that don't fit.
Her warmest remarks
run to "Quiet" and "Sit."
She never sparks passion,
excitement or dreams-
She never sees minds that are
bursting their seams.

Mrs. Fuller does.

from: Thurston, Cheryl Miller. 1987. Hide Your Ex-lax under the Wheaties: Poems about Schools, Teachers, Kids, and Education. Fort Collins, CO: Cottonwood Press.

And just to remind us about our colleagues in education working with children around the world, here’s a poem from the former Czechoslovakia that offers a classroom moment that is typical, no matter what the language of instruction may be!

by Miroslav Holub
Translated by Kaca Polackova

Children, when was
Napoleon Bonaparte
born? asks the teacher.

A thousand years ago,
say the children.
A hundred years ago,
say the children.
Nobody knows.

Children, what did
Napoleon Bonaparte
do? asks the teacher.

He won a war,
say the children.
He lost a war,
say the children.
Nobody knows.

Our butcher used to have a dog,
says Frankie,
and his name was Napoleon,
and the butcher used to beat him,
and the dog died
of hunger
a year ago.

And now all the children feel sorry
for Napoleon.

from; Nye, Naomi Shihab. Comp. This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from Around the World. Four Winds, 1992.

For more poems, check out the Poetry Friday Round Up hosted this week by WhimsyBooks.

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