Friday, August 7, 2015

New Teacher New Year - A First Day of School Poem



Oak Leaves and Watercolors
Photo by Amy LV




Students - I have been very lucky to meet many many teachers this summer.  My work takes me to different places where I have the good fortune to learn about different people and different classrooms and different ideas from teachers of all different grades.  Lots of times, I find myself wishing that I could be in school again, to have the chance to have this teacher or that one.  And one of the things that always strikes me the most is how a teacher can make a student feel, and how these feelings help or hurt our learning.  

This poem dedicated to teachers, teachers who are all also beginning or almost-beginning school, just like you.  Teachers who stay in our hearts, teachers who whisper in our ears even when we are all grown up.

And this poem is also dedicated to you, to students.  May your first day of school - and the days that follow - fill your minds and hearts and souls with goodness.

Like you, I have had many teachers in my life, and each one has made me a little bit of who I am.  This summer, one of my teachers (one I have never met) is award-winning author and our Children's Poet Laureate Jacqueline Woodson.  I am reading every single one of her books to help me learn both about life and about writing.  And what a teacher she is!  Two of her books that I am thinking about today, LOCOMOTION and PEACE, LOCOMOTION exquisitely explore, among other things, the power of teachers.

I cannot recommend highly enough all Jacqueline Woodson's books.  They are making me a better person, and I hope, a better writer too.

book cover

book cover

I am happy to share that my forthcoming EVERY DAY BIRDS, with beautiful cut paper illustrations by Dylan Metrano and published by Scholastic in both English and bilingual editions, is available (English only) for pre-order on Amazon.  The publication date is February 23, 2016.  


Tabatha is hosting today's grand Poetry Friday roundup over at The Opposite of Indifference.  Visit her place to check out the poetry happenings all around the Kidlitosphere this week.  We're a warm and welcoming community, and everyone is invited!

Please share a comment below if you wish.

16 comments:

Liz Steinglass said...

I wasn't ready to think about the first day of school until I read your poem. Your poem reminded me of the hopeful promise of the first day and the pleasure of having that promise realized even if it's not every. single. day. You chose an amazing teacher for yourself! What a great idea.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

Ah, school memories...a perfect snapshot of the first day of school!

Sheila said...

What a beautiful reflection full of hopeful joy! Thank you, Amy, for once again inspiring me. You are a treasure!

Andromeda Jazmon Sibley said...

"We did not rush." Yes, that. And congratulations on your book coming out!

Linda Baie said...

For the first time I won't be there, but I am okay with that. I have other things to do, and will be working with a new teacher this year, so a little bit of school! It seems a good idea to share your poem with this new person, hoping he'll understand that the feelings are important. Thanks Amy.

Tabatha said...

Your positive outlook and love of lifelong learning is refreshing, Amy!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

First-day enthusiasm is hard to resist... whether coming from teacher or student. And when you get both? Fireworks.

Mary Lee said...

That ending couplet is giving my heart a hug.

Charles Waters said...

Thank you for this post of gratitude, Amy! Many congrats again on the book. AMY LV POWER!

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Not every child needs exactly the same kind of teacher, but you did a darn good job of capturing what every child does need on the first day of school. You made me aspire to be a teacher who offers it! And I liked how you tied in your own teaching and learning from Jacqueline.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

How wonderful about your book, too--it looks lovely.

Katie Dicesare said...

I can't wait for Everyday Birds!!!!

Linda A. said...

Loved your poem, Amy!

Here's to all the great teachers out there--in the classroom, in everyday places, in athletic activities, and those who teach us about life through the arts.

Kathy Spencer said...

Thanks for the poem. How I would like to BE the teacher in the poem. I'm currently reading Locomotion, too. I find myself in awe of the author after each page I read.

Larnette Snow said...

Is New Teacher New Year in a book?

Amy Ludwig VanDerwater said...

This poem is not in a book, but you are welcome to use it in your classroom! Feel free to ask me any questions about usage at amy at amylv dot com. :) Amy