National Teacher Day

Today is National Teacher Day in the United States. This year the definition of being a teacher has changed. Overnight, teachers went from spending six hours a day in a classroom with their students to connecting with them virtually or via phone calls. Parents have taken on the bulk of responsibility for guiding their children through assignments. Teachers, students, and parents are looking forward to the day when their lives return to normal.

I came across this poem and thought about how teachers might be feeling right now. They are dreaming of the day to see their students in person… the day when they can feel the palm of their students’ hands as they give them a high-five when walking into the classroom… the day they can have all their students hands waving wildly in anticipation to answer a question… the day they can just be in a classroom with their students as ideas and dreams are shared.

Take a moment, either today or any day this week, to reach out to a teacher to let him/her know you are thinking of them just as much as they are thinking of you.

Raising their hands

By Julia Lisella

Sometimes I dream about my students,

the pink of their palms

red and raw.

One student, seven feet tall,

his long back

hunched over the desk,

his arm out and above him—

he could be waving

or stopping a train.

Another student wears eyeliner for the stage.

She bends from the ribs

her body forming a tiny “c,”

her hand up sudden as a whitecap.

Some days they frighten me.

Put your hands down, I tell them.

Shout. Explode. Scream it.

Instead they look at me and smile

the way they would at foreigners who don’t

speak the language.

That’s how they’ve trained me.

Now I wait until I see a scatter of fingers

and then I choose—

Yes, your palm, your hand,

your arched spine,

you with your idea,


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