Poetry Friday: The Last Class by William Stafford

  Michelle Kogan hosts the Poetry Friday Roundup today.


Today, I will turn in my classroom key and my building pass, and leave the middle school which has been the heart and soul of my teaching life.  What lies ahead is somewhat clear: caring for my aging parents, bringing a farm back to life, writing the books that I have been wanting to write.

Today is the end of one path, and the beginning of another.  Even as I grieve for the turning, hearing (always) the call of the children I have loved and taught and learned alongside these many years, I know that the other path is the way now.  I have arrived at Frost’s diverging roads…I know where I must go.



15 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: The Last Class by William Stafford

  1. Such a bittersweetness to this time of life! Happy retirement! Happy new beginnings! I can’t wait to see where life will take you next. This poem is a perfect choice for today!

  2. We think about all we have learned from your posts and our conversations and we will miss you. Thank you for sharing your teaching life with us. We can’t wait to hear about your new adventures. Congratulations!

  3. Enjoy the next stage of your journey! I look forward to seeing what the days bring–hopefully time to write and time to savor being with your parents and joy in seeing the farm spring to life.

  4. So many emotions at a time like this – but when you know it is the right thing and the right time, that is a great comfort. And joy, even. May you always have a teacher’s heart and mind in all that you do – because teachers have so much to offer the world around them. Always! Warm wishes for a wonderful… whatever happens next! It’s calling… you!

  5. Love this poem. And happy times to you as you embark on a new chapter! We’ll be waiting and watching for those books and hoping that you’ll continue to blog about your new paths.

  6. How can we ever forget those students? The poem says so much for you, for those leaving this profound experience called teaching. Congratulations, best wishes for this new road, and hugs for this grieving, too. I love William Stafford, glad you used his words for this goodbye. I also love Dr. Seuss, leaving you with a smile, I hope! “How did it get so late so soon?
    It’s night before
    it’s afternoon.
    December is here before it’s June.
    My goodness how the
    time has flewn.
    How did it get so late so soon?

  7. A hook is coming down from the sky, Tara, and you are ready for the ride. Reach up, grab hold! Ride forth with streamers of connection holding you to every kid you taught and use their energy to revive that farm, write those books….

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