By Chanah Rose
I want to get to know you, girls,
I want to learn from you,
What you know and why you care
And how you best do what you do.
I want to reach your inner self
And discover how you shine,
And hold a mirror so that you’ll see
That spark, dear student of mine.
Through looking in the mirror, girls,
You’ll see who you can be,
And having seen it, once and again,
It will shine more easily.
And when I get to know you girls,
You’ll teach me the words to say,
The things to do, the ways to help,
In our classroom, every day.
I’m here in class, it’s day one of school,
And like most others, I’m scared.
I know you’re not mean. I know that I’m safe.
Yet I grapple with this every year.
Because each time I begin again,
The possibility is always there,
That as the school days roll one by one,
I’ll slowly disappear.
You don’t yet know what’s in my heart,
And it might stay locked away,
And if it does, the door might jam
And unseen and unheard it might stay.
There are things I’m very good at,
But if you don’t remind me, I’ll forget.
And there are times I try so hard,
But don’t manage to succeed just yet.
I have questions burning inside me.
I have pain that needs to be shared.
I have joys and friends and heartbreaks,
And in this chair I’m scared.
Will you be the teacher who knows me?
Who tries to open the door?
Or will you see me as someone I’m not,
And invisible I’ll stay as before?
Please get to know me, teacher of mine,
Please check where I’m holding each day.
Please let me find a place in your heart –
Then your lessons in my heart will stay.
Mrs. Chanah Rose MsEd is the Educational Director of Menachem Education Foundation. This poem depicts a teacher and student sharing their hopes for the first day of school, making the case to get to know our students through baseline assessment, learning profiles and personal connection as the foundation for learning.