Praise to the Teacher Writer

Praise to the Teacher Writer

The writers come to us, unknowing and fearful

They know working with words is dangerous

As language is combustible and corrosive – incendiary

They worry they do not have the skill for such dangerous work

But then we fill them with their own fire

and teach them how to build firebreaks

As well as how to raze the fields to prepare for new growth

Even as we salve their burns, we show them their scars and raw wounds

are badges of honor and testament to their power

Praise to the teacher writer who brings writers through a crucible

not unscathed but tempered – stronger, brighter than before


Learn more about praise poetry and how to write your own praise poem and #JustWrite!

Won’t You Celebrate With Me

Won’t You Celebrate With Me

Won’t you celebrate with me

That I love learning and laughing with my students

That I possess patience and understanding

That I am sweet and kind and helpful

That I have pushed my students to learn and do more than they thought possible

That I have made my students proud of their accomplishments

Won’t you celebrate with me a life that has given so much to others


Won’t you celebrate with me

That I push my students out of their comfort zone

That I am an awesome teacher who gives out chocolate

That I possess the superpower of encouragement

That I am cool because I teach with Harry Potter

That I challenge my students to be more creative

Won’t you celebrate with me that against all the odds we survived


This praise poem was written collaboratively with my Spring 2016 first- and second-year writing students.



Forbidden the adult section of the library

no one cares I have already read Little House and Nancy Drew

Small notebooks with marbled covers, purchased from the Five and Dime

nestle into my back pocket as I stand up on my bike pedals to make it up the ridge

I only dare share the stories that amuse and titillate my friends

no one reads the stories written on my heart, maybe no one ever will

No one makes a living with words, they protest my declaration of English major

three decades and four English degrees later I am still writing and haven’t starved yet