Wednesday, 7 October 2015


“Personally I’m always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” - Sir Winston Churchill

Poets United this week celebrates World Teachers’ Day, held annually on October 5 since 1994. Its aim is to mobilize support for teachers and to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met by teachers. The challenge is to: “Bring a great teacher memory to life in a new poem. Or, if you don’t have one, use learning as your motif…”

Having been a teacher in my professional life, I can surely appreciate the benefits of good teaching when it generates deep and active learning. However, I have also seen some very bad teaching, which unfortunately can have the opposite result from what it intends to do. Education can happen in the most unexpected and delightful ways – a good teacher can facilitate this process of discovery and learning. A poor teacher shovels education into students as though they were empty vessels to be filled with facts, figures, dates and minutiae to be memorised and recalled parrot fashion. What use is to me to know how far away from the earth the moon is and what its precise diameter is, if I cannot appreciate a poem about the magic of moonlight?


When we shall meet again
Let’s close our eyes, imagining
The moon as it used to be –
Distant, mysterious, full of hidden promises.

Let us forget bitter realities
Taught to us by our experience,
Throw to the winds the empty facts,
Taught to us by our zealous, short-sighted teachers.

Once more let us believe that
All is possible, all may happen;
Let us regain that most precious of things
That we have lost – Moonlight...


  1. beautifully inspiring lines from a former true...we can't afford to lose moonlight...

  2. This poem is filled with moonlight. Any teacher, artist ,writer or poet who is inspirational is a success story
    Beautiful poem and illustration. The teaching profession's loss...too many of the good ones leave.

  3. Good teaching is about opening a door in the mind - imagination, possibility, hope - sometimes that is very far away from formal education..but it is the thing that lasts and prevails - thankfully...

  4. Encountering the magic and imagination of moonlight . . . another kind of learning. I really enjoyed your statement over the poem as well. Thank you for being a teacher!

  5. Beautiful....let us recapture moonlight - and dreams.

  6. Such a beautiful poem! And from the bottom of my heart, thank you to all the teachers who help shape young minds positively. My mother is a teacher, has been in this profession for almost 30 years.

  7. I am a sucker for moonlight--and somehow for me, it always makes the lessons taught more magical--beautiful!!!!

  8. Great sentiments, beautifully and delicately expressed.