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  • Writer's pictureRuby Nambo

Essential Educators

When I wrote this poem back in spring 2021, it was certainly during a time when the world was going through a difficult time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, I was starting out as a substitute teacher. As months and years went on, as an educator myself, these words do not only resonate educators at a specific school or district, but to all educators. This poem is dedicated to all the educators, regardless in their position. You are essential.

Every day,

from September to June,

its all about early mornings

just to make it before students arrive.

It takes so much effort and motivation

especially when days are tough.


you have to force yourself

to keep the grind going

but it is all worth it.

This year is no different,

yet it is with many daily changes

of the cloud of a pandemic.

You think everything that you do

is not making sense

is not engaging enough

and is challenging to understand.

You might even

put your heart and soul

into the theater performance

after weeks of prepping

and yet it may not go well.


a student or two

may come up to you

and tell you

“Thank you, I definitely

learned something new—

all because of you,”

your heart begins to melt

in gooey softness like cookies.

It’s the little things

that keep us going

and to know that our hard work

has paid off.

And the beautiful thing

is soon it goes noticed:

you start to receive letters and cards,

snacks, gift cards, and the gift of words

not just by students,

but others around you

because after all,

they all taught you

that tough times don’t last

yet tough people do

and that’s an essential educator.

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