‘Who will clean the desks’ – a crowded source poem in praise of teachers

Teachers make a hole.

A soft curve in gray matter

A crack where the light shines

A seed for germination.

They open their eyes

Kick open imagination

Show us

Encourage change of mind

And change of heart

Not forced to walk a single path

But Revelation is for many.

Teachers create and form

They are weaving through the limitations of their vision

Student making and welding.

Teachers celebrate

Teachers conquer hatred and nurture expectations

Teachers shed light

Where darkness lives

Make chrysanthemums from wild flower seeds,

Long stalks and fragile flowers explode within their reach.

They make statements that are long lasting even after the lessons have been exploited. Like Mrs. Tucker who wrote, “Amy is like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day” on my first class report card,

Teachers bring in dreamers and thinkers.

They make us stretch

Wake us up

Realize our sympathy

Feel us

Make us cry

Make us laugh

Help us understand the connection

Thank us.

It’s for Mr. Wilk

Who teaches vocational electronics

Romeo High School in Michigan.

He has helped create a creative mind

Helped craft, cast and find

New interests and ideas, refined

To create new words, indefinite.

Traveling every year like Sisyphus,

Another ride up the hill,

To teach another class,

Another state test for stress tolerance,

Another prom, graduate, repatriation,

Waiting for another break.

There are teachers after so many things

Even when the world thinks you are small.

Mrs. Hani did not do it for money.

He saw that I had a chance,

I can be president even with dyslexia.

You see, teachers make bad days better

Make the journey as meaningful as the destination

Make reading fruitful

Suffer well

The teachers decide.

About 1,500 per day.

What to say, how to say, when

Teachers love

Out of everything

Teachers make me feel special

As I am safe

Teachers make sense

The eighth note is a noise and

Then quarter notes

And a spot of dark chords

They make songs.

The day he died, not only I, but the whole school cried, “That’s why I graduated,” “That’s why I ate lunch,” “When my own father ran away, he helped me a lot,” they said. Passing by, endless reminders of his touch in their lives

Teachers are nothing but students

Such as the fieldless farmer

A mind rich in knowledge

A teacher is nothing if their power is taken away

Such as train when fuel is empty

Sensor and inactive

We came here because teachers make students

The glorious tree of possibility from the seedling.

They make us complete.

They make an impression

Subtle hands that make themselves available

To guide us in this path of misery

And wonder

The teachers left the door open for us

But when the last bell rings

When the classroom is locked

Who will clean all the desks?

Mathematics worksheet

Missing LEGO,

A goldfish cracker

Paper clips and shattered posts যা which say “I love you!”

Pencil boxes and old erasers,

A Pokemon Card (Cramorent)

Empty glue stick,

Dusty Harry Potter masks.

Dirty-smudged backpack?

At the end of the day

Who will help the teachers to take the next preparation

Who will build a house for a heavy heart,

For the saints who can’t stop thinking about those 19 desks,

ঐ 19 backpack

Those 19 summer vacations,

Those 19 new pairs of sandals.

Those 19 next school years and beyond

And after that and after that.

Teachers don’t let us down

They help us find them

They help us find ourselves

Just breathe and be kind to the children

Their mantra –

Who will hold them in the arms of kindness and care?

When the world is not so beautiful

When summer burns red

When there are no more children

To be kind

I say, let it be us.

Because it’s a matter of teachers.

The poetry of this community has been compiled by:

Meg Frost, Mapleton, UT

Patricia Stevenson, Shaker Heights, OH

Matthew Monte, Houghton, MI

James Fromm, Danwoody, GA

Amy Walter-Peterson, Victor, NY

Ben Ark, Louisville, KY

Alexander Simanovsky, Charleston, SC

Lacey Rich, Macon, GA

Sarah Coleric, Seattle, WA

Carol Sadevasar, Parma, OH

John Douglas, St. Louis, MO

Eileen Hennessy, Joelton, TN

Aaron Bowen, Morristown, TN

Shelley Solaris, Bloomfield, MI

Ron Meyers, New York, NY

Bhavya Reddy, Green Brook NJ

Maddie Radcliffe, Omaha, NE

John Linder, Jr., Brooklyn, NY

Tim Josephus, Greensboro, NC

Karen Sherlock, Boulder, CO

Jit Chadda, St. Louis, MO

Beverly Peterson, Williamsburg, VA

Robert Warden, Brian, TX

Chelsea Howe, Sonora, CA.

Matthew Friday, Bend, or

Marina Wrightman, Fresno, CA.

Morgan Dean, Outer Banks NC

George Asdale, Atascadero, CA.

Sonia Zawarski, St. Paul, MN

Cheryl White Dear, Peabody, MA

Sarah Kern, Cumberland, ME

Richard Taylor-Kenny, Sherwood, or

Jane Nails, Las Vegas, NV

The audio story is produced and edited by Jibika Verma and Reena Advani. Reena Advani and Reena Torchinsky adapted it for the web.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.