These Faces

Did I ever see my children
as these faces I see now
My eyes periscope across the ocean of manila brown desks
I’m thinking many thoughts
especially how to remain afloat today
and not sink like a sub
The endless falsetto voices lost in the banter of youth
are not affected by the tepid grey tile and dull institutional cinder block
as am I
On these first days
when teachers gaze across that sea of bright, clear eyes
do they see my children
as I see them
Not evaluating as an instructor
but visualizing with the hopeful heart of a parent
I wonder

Max and Caroline

Max and Caroline

painted oh, so long ago

In my six years as a substitute teacher for all grade levels, just about every teacher I’ve had the honor of working with goes above and beyond what is expected, in an ever changing educational environment. Teachers are a compassionate group. Many educators’ patience is wider than an ocean of manila brown desks.

23 thoughts on “These Faces

  1. Love this…..painting and words…..”the endless falsetto voices”….makes me think of the sweet high voice of my 9 year old grand son. You’ve really captured it here. We entrust our children, at such young ages too, to these teachers and trust they treasure each one, as we do ours. Wonderful sentiments here. And I am so so certain, the children in your charge, are in such a very good place! πŸ™‚


    • I was thinking about this the other day when I returned from a long week of subbing.
      I know you’ve been in the classroom too, Lillian – a difficult thing to explain – unless you’ve actually experienced the wonder that is teaching or horror that is subbing (of course, I kid) πŸ˜‰
      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnMarie, these words get to the heart of the matter, don’t they? And there are three perspectives here — children/students’, teachers’, and parents’ — through which to view education (excellent touch). I’m sure — no, I know for a fact — you’re a wonderful teacher in the classroom. This poem and this tender portrait of Caroline and Max are proof-positive. Wishing you another good week of teaching; the art teacher, students and parents are lucky to have you as “sub.” πŸ™‚


  3. Beautiful AnnMarie. My favorite teacher Eve taught me in my final English class in College it was Advanced Poetry. It was very difficult I worked very hard came out with a B and my life still intact you have to be very smart to come out of that class with a B. The first day of class Eve says ‘I can tell the gentlemen in the far corner with the smug look on his face is one of our graduating students this semester’ I always went to Eve for extra help and she helped me a great deal and made everything a lot easier for me. Her class was very difficult but she was approachable and made things easier for everyone. She made accommodations most teachers wouldn’t do. We became good friends. Part of class requirement each student had to ask one question to the class on the poem we were studying. Well this was always funny because students to show off asked like ten questions instead of one. One student asked a question that was like a final exam question asking us to refer to every poem we read previously in the semester. Eve laughed hard in her office over that one the reaction I gave her about that how I felt students were trying to show off or just create extra work for their fellow classmates. I told Eve the assignent is one question and I am answering only one she laughed at that. It was a bittersweet moment when it was my last day of class and this was my last day of college period. Eve wished me luck and encouraged me to keep working on my writing. She was a great teacher, friend and mentor. That was a great way to end my college days with her as my last teacher. She was awesome. She was very passionate about teaching and had a great kind generous personality. She was a very nice woman and she is my favorite teacher ever.


  4. Hopefully all of the many other teachers are looking over those little faces and seeing precious jewels just as you see your children. Nicely spoken.
    Such a sweet and beautiful painting of a couple of very happy looking children.


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