40 of Our Favorite Poems About Teaching

Whether you’re a teacher sharing your love of poetry with students or someone who’s trying to show appreciation for today’s educators, you’ll probably appreciate this list of teacher poems. The right teacher poem can truly strike a chord and capture the unique beauty and challenges that come with this important role. To show our appreciation, we’ve collected these amazing poems about teaching to inspire, amuse, and tap into the deep connection we all have with this crazy, lovely profession.


“Sometimes I dream about my students …”

2. Teachers by Kevin William Huff

“Teachers paint their minds and guide their thoughts.”

“I came to teach / To see what I could find …”

“Our class was full of one-eared boys …”

“I teach. Ideas and words are my business.”

The Silliest Teacher in School by Darren Sardelli.


“Our teacher gave detention / to the fountains in the hall.”

7. Teachers by Beryl L. Edmonds

“Teachers proudly stand in front of the class …”

“They are so beautiful, and so very young …”

9. The Hand by Mary Ruefle

The Hand by Mary Ruefle as an example of poems about teaching


“The teacher asks a question. / You know the answer …”

“Thin jagged line …”

11. Opposites by Eileen Snook

“Overworked, overextended, overbooked.”

“I make kids wonder. I make them question.”

“The young are quick of speech.”

“Our substitute is strange because / he looks a lot like Santa Claus.”

15. Napoleon by Miroslav Holub

Napoleon by Miroslav Holub, poems about teaching.


“Children, when was Napoleon Bonaparte born, asks teacher.”

“The child I left your class to have / Later had a habit of sleeping …”

“The school bell rings, we go inside …”

“The world is full of mostly invisible things …”

Adjacent, Against, Upon by Rick Barot, as an example of poems about teaching


“I may be looking at the set of boulders … but it is you I am addressing.”

“Because one day I grew so bored with Lucretius, I fell in love.”

21. Pencil by Marianne Boruch

“My drawing teacher said: Look, think, make a mark.”

An Instructor's Dream by Bill Knott.


“Many decades after graduation …”

23. The Lesson by Roger McGough

“Chaos ruled OK in the classroom …”

“He reminds me of someone I used to know …”

“Why am I ‘I’?”

“You are white—yet a part of me, as I am a part of you.”

The School Where I Studied by Yehuda Amichai.


“I passed by the school where I studied as a boy …”

“I suppose he’s dreaming …”

“Poetry (and now my voice is rising) …”

“On the porch of the reservation school …”

The Emperor’s New Clothes by Kate Gale.


“Because we want to make meaning.”

32. Workshop by Billy Collins

“Maybe it’s just me, but the next stanza is where I start to have a problem.”

“I want to thank my mother / for working every day …”

“The highly desirable, the very advisable …”

Prof of Profs by Geoffrey Brock.


“I was a math major—fond of all things rational.”

“Some students were stretching a professor on a medieval torture rack.”

“Have you subversive, out of date, / Or controversial ideas?”

“The village all declared how much he knew …”

39. Unity by Ray A. Lingenfelter

Unity by Ray A. Lingenfelter.


“I dreamed I stood in a studio …”

40. Teachers by tree cards

“Teachers are dedicated, to our education.”

For more poems about teachers and teaching, check out these amazing collections:

Want more poetry? Check out these back-to-school poems.

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