Poetry for Teachers and Parents

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Share the verse below with caregivers, teachers and parents! They’re wonderful to include in a newsletter, print on pretty paper, give to staff… or  post at your information center. Some like the first one are fun for yourself!

Author Unknown

Let me see if I’ve got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. Not only that, but I’m to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity and behaviorally modify disruptive behavior. I’ve got to teach them good citizenship, sportsmanship, and fair play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job.

I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage a respect for cultural diversity of others.

I am required by my contract to be working on my own time (summers and evenings) and at my own expense toward additional certification, advanced certification, and a Master’s degree. I am to attend committee and faculty meetings, and participate in staff development training to maintain  my current certification and employment status.

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority.

I am to purchase supplies, room decorations, bulletin board supplies, supplies for children who can’t afford them, and luxury items such as scissors, glue, scotch tape, paper clips, notebook paper, red pens, and markers with my own money as there is no money in the budget for these items. I’m to do all this with just a piece of chalk, a few books, and a bulletin board, and on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states…

Is THAT all?

By Dixie Fletcher

If an adult is reinforced for behaving appropriately we call it recognition.
If a child is reinforced for behaving appropriately we call it bribery.

If an adult laughs we call it socializing.
If a child laughs we call it misbehaving.

If an adult writes in a book we call it doodling.
If a child writes in a book we call it destroying property.

If an adult sticks to something we call it perseverance.
Of a child sticks to something we call it stubbornness.

If an adult seeks help we call it consulting.
If a child seeks help we call it whining.

If an adult is not paying attention we call it preoccupation.
Of a child is not paying attention we call it distractibility.

If an adult forgets something we call it absent mindedness.
If a child forgets something we call it attention deficit.

If an adult tells his side of a story we call it clarification.
If a child tells his side of a story we call it talking back.

If an adult raise his voice in anger we call it maintaining control.
If a chiild raises his voice in anger we call it a temper tantrum.
If an adult hits a child we call it discipline.
If a child hits a child we call it fighting.

If an adult behaves in an unusual way we call him unique.
If a child behaves in an unusual way we call him in for a

Dr. Haim G. Ginott
I have come to a frightening conclusion.
I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.

As a teacher
I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis
will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized.


1. Cute little children…cute little paychecks.
2. Confidence that you will never ever forget how to count to ten.
3. You get to sing your favorite songs over and over and over again.
4. Play, play, play!
5. With all this bending who needs aerobics?
6. Your classroom art is proudly displayed in many kitchen galleries.
7. Small hands…large crayons.
8. You get to make the little ones count.
Author Unknown

Author unknown
A child is a butterfly in the wind,
Some can fly higher than others;
But each one flies the best it can.
Why compare one against the other?
Each one is different!
Each one is special!
Each one is beautiful!

Author Unknown
You spend years trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you are both breathless.
They crash … they hit the roof … you patch, comfort and assure them that someday they will fly.

Finally, they are airborne. They need more string, and you keep letting it out.
They tug, and with each twist of the twine, there is sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant, and you know it won’t be long
before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you together
and will soar as meant to soar… free and alone.
Only then do you know that you have done your job.

Dr. Dorothy Law Nolte
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with security, they learn faith.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.

Author Unknown
Don’t be fooled by me. Don’t be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a thousand masks and few of them are me.
I give the impression that I’m secure, that all is unruffled within me.
That confidence is my name and coolness my game.
That the water’s calm and I’m in command.
But don’t believe me. Please.
Beneath dwells the real me, confused and afraid.
I’m afraid your glance will lack acceptance and love.

So begins the parade of masks-and my life becomes a front.
I chatter to you idly, suavely.
I tell you everything that is really nothing and nothing of what is everything.
When I’m going through my routine, don’t be fooled.
Please listen carefully and hear what I’m not saying.
I dislike hiding. I really do.
Please hold out your hand, even when that’s the last thing I seem to want.
Because each time you’re kind, gentle, and encouraging
I get braver,
closer to leaving
the masks
by one.

FINGERPRINTS (To use for handprint or print art)
Author Unknown
Sometimes you get discouraged,
because I am so small
And leave my little fingerprints
On furniture and walls.

But everyday I’m growing
And soon will be so tall
That all these little fingerprints
Will be difficult to recall.

So here’s a little handprint
That you can put away
So you will know how my fingers looked
On this special day.

Author Unknown
God understood our thirst for knowledge, and our need to be led  by someone wiser;
He needed a heart of compassion, of encouragement, and patience;
Someone who would accept the challenge regardless of the opposition;
Someone who could see potential and believe in the best in others . . .
So He made Teachers


No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats. When your mom is mad at your dad, don’t let her brush your hair. If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back;
they always catch the second person. Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. Reading what people write on desks can teach you a lot. Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. Puppies still have bad breath even after eating a tic tac. Never hold a dust buster and a cat at the same time. School lunches stick to the wall. You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. The best place to be when you are sad is in Grandma’s lap.

By Maya Angelou
I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I’ve sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I’ve seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I’ve not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England’s moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we’re the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.
We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

By Diane Loomans
If I had to raise my child all over again,
I’d finger paint more, and point the finger less.
I’d do less correcting, and more connecting,
I’d take my eyes of my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I would care to know less, and know to care more.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I’d run through more fields, and gaze more at stars.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
I would be firm less often, and affirm much more.
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love. From the book, Full Esteem Ahead,
100 Ways to Build Self Esteem in Children & Adults

Author Unknown
One hundred years from now
It won’t matter
What kind of car I drove…

What kind of house I lived in
How much money I had in the bank
Nor what my cloths looked like
The world may be a little better
Because, I was important
In the life of a child.

Teacher’s Prayer
Author Unknown

Lord, Please help me,
To strengthen their voices,
bodies and minds,
To express their feelings and
control them sometimes,
To explore what’s near
and venture afar,
But most important to love
who they are.

Author Unknown
When we plant a rose seed in the earth
We notice that it is small, but we do not
Criticize it as rootless and stem-less. We treat it as a seed, giving the water
And nourishment required of a seed.

When it first shoots up out of the earth,
We don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped;
Nor do we criticize the buds for not being open as they appear.
We stand in wonder at the process taking place
And give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.

The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed
To the time it dies.
Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential.
It seems to be constantly in the process of change;
Yet at each state, at each moment,
It is perfectly all right as it is.

Author unknown
There are little eyes upon you,
And they are watching night and day;
There are little ears that quickly take
In every word you say;
There are little hands all eager to do
Everything you do,
And a little child who’s dreaming of
The day he’ll be like you.

Author Unknown
Don’t let your parents down,They brought you up.
Be humble enough to obey, You may give orders someday.
Choose companions with care, You become what they are.
Guard your thoughts, What you think, you are.
Choose only a date, Who would make a good mate.
Be master of your habits, Or they will master you.
Don’t be a show off when you drive, Drive with safety and arrive.
Don’t let the crowd pressure you, Stand for something-
Or you’ll fall for anything.

By Ray A. Lingenfelter
I dreamed I stood in a studio
And watched two sculptors there,
The clay they used was a young child’s mind
And they fashioned it with care.
One was a teacher:
the tools she used were books and music and art;
One was a parent
With a guiding hand and gentle loving heart.
And when at last their work was done,
They were proud of what they had wrought.
For the things they had worked into the child
could never be sold or bought!
And each agreed she would have failed
if she had worked alone.
For behind the parent stood the school,
and behind the teacher stood the home!

Author Unknow

  • I have a right to live rather than merely exist.
  • I have a right to personhood rather than being an object of possession.
  • I have a right to equality with every other human being regardless of age.
  • I have a right to be respected as a human being.I have a right to be uniquely myself with my own identity.
  • I have a right to speak my thoughts and feelings, and to be heard.
  • I have a right to ask “why?” and to receive and answerI have a right to receive discipline without insults, yelling and put-downs.
  • I have a right to be encouraged to grow to maturity at my own pace.
  • I have a right to bfree of physical harm at the hands of others.I have a right to be loved for who I am.
  • I have a right to think for myself and, with guidance, to make my own decisions.
  • I have a right to be responsible for myself.I have a right to feel joy, happiness, sorrow, bereavement, and pain.
  • I have a right to my achievements and a right to my mistakes.
  • I have a right to care and be cared for, to give and to receive.
  • I have a right to develop my own convictions, beliefs and standards.I have a right to know and experience personal freedom.
  • I have a right to my own body, mind, and spirit.
  • I have a responsibility to recognize and accept the rights of others regarding their Bill Of Right.


You repeat everything you say to your friends at least
five times.

You think of the new year starting in August.

You tell your husband to spit out his gum.

Your favorite place to shop is the teacher’s bookstore.

You can eat an entire meal in 20 minutes or less.

The neighbor’s trash looks like something you can recycle for your classroom.

You count all your Valentine Day cards and smile.

You pick up a handful of napkins in a restaurant.

Your wardrobe is covered in paint.

You wake up in the middle of the night and say, “Who’s talking?”

Other people joke that it must be nice to have three
months of vacation.

You are afraid to take a sick day because the sub doesn’t know your kids like you do.

Johnny swears and you smile because it was a grammatically correct sentence.
Author Unknown

101  WAYS TO PRAISE A CHILD Author Unknown

Wow!  ♥   Way to go!  ♥  Super!  ♥  You’re Special ♥  Outstanding!  ♥  Excellent!  ♥  Great! ♥  Good! ♥  Neat!  ♥  Well done! ♥  Remarkable! ♥  I knew you could do it!  ♥  I’m proud of you! ♥   Fantastic!  ♥  Super Star! ♥   Nice work!  ♥  Looking good! ♥   You’re on top of it!  ♥  Beautiful! ♥   Now you’re flying!   ♥  You’re catching on! ♥   Now you’ve got it!  ♥  You’re incredible!  ♥  Bravo!  ♥  You’re fantastic!  ♥  Hurray for you!   ♥  You’re on target!  ♥  You’re on your way! ♥   How nice! ♥   How smart! ♥  Good job!  ♥  That’s incredible!  ♥ Hot dog! ♥   Dynamite! ♥  You’re beautifu! ♥  You’re unique!  ♥  Nothing can stop you now! ♥  Good for you! ♥   I like you!  ♥  You’re a winner!   ♥  Remarkable job! ♥   Beautiful work!   ♥  Spectacular!  ♥   You’re spectacular!  ♥  You’re darling! ♥   You’re precious! ♥   Great discovery!  ♥  You’ve discovered the secret! ♥   You figured it out! ♥   Fantastic job! ♥   Super job! ♥   Hip, hip, hooray!  ♥  Bingo!  ♥   Magnificent!    Marvelous!  ♥  Terrific!  ♥  You’re important!  ♥   Phenomenal! ♥  You’re sensational!  ♥  Super work!  ♥  Creative job!  ♥  Super job! ♥   Fantastic job! ♥   Exceptional performance!  ♥  You’re a real trooper!  ♥  You are responsible! ♥   You are exciting!  ♥  You learned it right!  ♥  What an imagination!  ♥   What a good listener!  ♥  You are fun!  ♥  You’re growing up!  ♥   Your tried hard! ♥   You care! ♥   Beautiful sharing! ♥   Outstanding performance! ♥   You’re a good friend! ♥   I trust you! ♥   You’re important! ♥   You mean a lot! ♥   You make me happy! ♥   You belong!  ♥  You’ve got a friend!  ♥  You make me laugh!  ♥  You brighten my day!  ♥   I respect you!  ♥   You mean the world to me!  ♥  That’s correct!  ♥   You’re a joy!  ♥   You’re a treasure!  ♥   You’re wonderful!  ♥   You’re just about perfect!  ♥   Awesome! ♥   A+ job!  ♥   You’re  A-O.K! ♥   My buddy!  ♥   You made my day! ♥   That’s the best!  ♥   A big hug!  ♥  A big kiss!  ♥   I love you! ♥

Poem by: Shane DeRolf

While walking into a toy store the day before today
I overheard a crayon box with many things to say
“I don’t like Red!” said Yellow and Green said “Nor do I”
“And no one here likes Orange but no one knows just why”

“We are a box of crayons that doesn’t get along
Said Blue to all the others “Something here is wrong”
Well, I bought that box of crayons and took it home with me
And laid out all the colors so the crayons all could see

They watched me as I colored with Red and Blue and Green
And Black and White and Orange and every color in between
They watched as Green became the grass and Blue became the sky
The Yellow sun was shining bright on White clouds drifting by

Colors changing as they touched becoming something new
They watched me as I colored – they watched me till I was through
And when I finally finished I began to walk away
And as I did the crayon box had something more to say

“I do like Red!” said Yellow and Green said, “so do I”
And Blue you were terrific! So high up in the sky
“We are a box of crayons each one of us unique

A Poem that Might work with one of your Diversity Activities…

Wouldn’t it be terrible? Wouldn’t it be sad?
If just one single color was the color that we had?
If everything was purple? Or red? Or blue? Or green?
If yellow, pink, or orange was all that could be seen?
Can you just imagine how dull world would be
If just one single color was all we got to see?

Visit the portion of the DIVERSITY Category for activity that goes with above poems…

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