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A Tribute to My Middle School Teachers

Updated on July 8, 2014

The perm, the Benetton sweaters, they speak 1000 words!


This middle school teacher gives tribute to the lessons learned from her middle school teachers

Seventh Grade

Braces, a bad perm, some pimples

Transitions, gifted, and socially awkward

Teachers, some good, some bad,

All left an impact

Every experience a chance to learn

Mr. K., in English, was young and funny.

He looked like Tom Cruise.

He gave me the independence to develop film

and practice photography.

He taught me, though, that too many

pranks don’t enhance the environment.

Mrs. K., an exotically costumed old lady,

Taught Social Studies. I learned block letters and

Strange customs. She taught me to travel in my dreams

And hope for new lands. She also taught me teachers

Could get creative with ice picks.

Technologically backward, scantron gave her hives

Ice picks CAN grade tests.

Mrs. W. allowed me to be goofy,

She let me be weird. She gave me the

Freedom to attempt a raunchy joke.

She taught me to explore the world of words

To create drama and poetry, read great books

She helped me love language

And taught me I was too young for double entendre

Ms. F. taught me that math could

Be funny and active and social.

She taught me that different people

Are still special and unusual people

Can still be cool.

Mrs. C. taught a room of girls

Health and P.E. She told us it’s okay

To cry and allowed us our monthly

Three-tissue movies for girl time

And then let us laugh at boys’ notecards.

She taught me married teachers DO

Talk about their students!

Mrs. H. taught me that
some teachers are not right

When Mr. R. told me I had no talent.

She told me I was made to sing and

Called him an idiot,

The first adult I’d heard criticize a colleague.

Mr. M., oh science, I hated your class,

He wrote on my report card that I talked

And daydreamed too much,

Yet several years later,

A laminated newspaper photo was

Mailed to my home

Congratulating me for an accomplishment.

You taught me to remember

And celebrate student success

Even if it happened a little later….

Eighth grade

Fitting in,

hating math,

top of the middle school food chain

The other Mrs. K., the human rainstorm,

Was eighth grade English. Backhanded praise,

“Your work is too advanced to come from a kid.”

She taught me never to accuse someone

For things shown beyond their years.

Mr. G. taught me humiliation and sexism

He taught me math was too hard

And higher level classes were no place for girls

He taught me teachers could be blind

To a student’s possibilities

And the world isn’t always fair.

Mr. H., at the high school,

Who took over my math that year,

Took a failing student and

Brought me to an A.

He taught me that teachers

Get up early and stay late

To tutor.

Mr. C. taught geography

And history to a map-challenged daydreamer

I learned that romance novels have just as much

Historical information needed to pass the test

And that naughty mnemonics help me

Remember geographical locations.

Poor man might die if he knew that!

A student aide for the librarian,

Whose name I wish I could remember

She let me read as many books as I wanted

And gave me freedom to spend taking pictures

And creating in the darkroom

And let me explore the microfiche.

Home economics taught me that I

Had no future as a seamstress

Or chef and that my classmates were

Much more domestic than I.

Art class showed me I could draw

Upside down and inspired me to be

Who I am, ungifted in art, but

Allowing me to uncover me.

Mr. S. showed us Cold War

Films, giving me nightmares,

He discussed chemical reactions

And filled my head with confusion.

But, he knew I loved music and he

Gave me the world.

He gave me the application

To sing in Russia.

He taught me teachers can look beyond

The classroom, the subject,

And into the child to meet a need.

So you see, some were beneficial teachers

And others not so great,

But their influence taught me

How to be a better person

Think for myself

Be who I am

And yearn to keep acquiring

Experiences, literature, talent,

Knowledge, skill, and understanding.


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    • DaisysJourney profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Doris, thank you for visiting and kind words. I hope I AM the teacher who students remember fondly, although there are a few I'm sure who keep my school picture on their walls for dart board practice. I think the more I teach middle school, the more grateful I am for the teachers who put up with my adolescent antics!!!

    • Doris Dancy profile image

      Doris H. Dancy 

      4 years ago from Yorktown, Virginia

      I thoroughly enjoyed this trip down your Memory Lane. As a past teacher myself and still teaching in different ways, I always hope to touch the mind and heart of my students as most of yours have done for you. I would venture to say that you are an outstanding teacher yourself with a sensitivity that students will never forget. Voted up useful, awesome, funny.


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