In Only Nine Weeks


She’s fragile in our learning community.
A shy smile shares a growing confidence.
Initial reading assessments tell her story.
Reading skills, including writing and speaking,
regularly spiral throughout our hours in class.

I watch how she handles her books—
with such gentle touch and tender care.
In the past nine weeks she has changed
right before our eyes. Her smile tells it all.
Recently, she exclaimed, “I think I know
what the ABCs are all about now.”
I am attached to why I do what I do
I teach to make a difference, daily if I can.

Her recent reading assessment has shown
an increase of nine months in nine weeks.
There’s proof of what I know and trust.
Time with books will and can work miracles.
A child needs books and people who care,
not just teachers but also home supporters.

In these early years learning to appreciate
reading as a lifetime skill is so important.
For the guardians who have stepped away
for some reason or another, oh, how I wish
you would reconsider relationships with books.

Maybe reroute strategies for family engagement.
Seasons pass so quickly, and it seems we
have forever. We don’t, and with education,
time spent  is part of success’ formula. Reconsider.
Grab a book, sit near a child, turn/swipe pages,
and share the excitement of the story’s glory.
Discuss illustrations, the setting and characters.
Talk. Talk about characters and how they change.
Ask about favorite parts.  Talk about the author.
Discuss beginnings and endings. Create a new ending.

We’re all part of a child’s growing and changing cycles.
In these early years, share it all—the times, good food,
and good books—paper copies or digital ones.
Keep those young minds excited about learning.
We can all help these learners level up. Let’s do it.
And they can all say, “I think I know what the ABCs
are all about now.” 

The rewards in teaching are many, often, too, surpassing
any halls or walls which we walk down or pass through.
Let’s help these young children. We’re all they have,
and mentors we all are. We are all teachers. Learners, too.

(Readers, thank you for listening to my heart’s outpouring. Education is dynamic.
Education with young children is sometimes hard, yet so very worth it. Let’s all
help the young ones learn how to love their books and appreciate the learning.)


“Pass the ketchup for my French fries.
Pass the chocolate syrup for my ice cream.
Pass the books for my inquisitive mind.”


  1. Jan, (Sister, Wife, Mother, Elementary Teacher, Writer/Poet, Jam Maker, Gardener and Nature Photographer)

    The photograph is breathtaking and sets the tone of the poem perfectly.
    As for the message, take a bow wise one. All the children that you mentor
    are amply blessed, as are we who read your poetry and share your photography.
    May every child get a book for Christmas (and at every opportunity.)

    Our newest Bon Mot II:

    “Pass the ketchup for my French fries.
    Pass the chocolate syrup for my ice cream.
    Pass the books for my inquisitive mind.”

    Thank you!!


    Liked by 1 person

    • Sarah, thank you for your kind words. This year is challenging with my 16 second graders. It’s a small class; however, there are many needs. Many learners are reluctant readers. We are immersed daily in great literature to boost vocabulary and comprehension skills. It’s working for many, especially for the little girl in my recent poem. She inspires all of us. 🙂 Thank you for appreciating the picture of the Gulf Frittilary. Take a peek again. It shows the underside of the butterfly. How cool is that? haha I always enjoy sharing writing with you. I hope you are enjoying times in autumn. It’s such a breathtaking season. Take care, my friend.
      Love to you,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations and well done on the little girl’s progress, Jan. Children need to read – and social media on the cell phone is no substitute at any age. Any book which will hold their attention and capture their imagination is good, even the much-maligned comic book. My mom tells it on me that I was always wanting her to read me my comic books, and when she told me to read them myself – I learned to read just so I could. Yes, I was THAT stubborn even then.

    This poem is something every parent should read.


  3. Hi Jan

    Having been a high school English teacher, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this poem and how much I deeply share your perspective. The gift of teaching comes when you see a child bloom and find confidence in his or herself. Reading is a marvelous way to transform the mind and the soul. How wonderfully you describe the essential need for reading and books in our children’s lives as well as our own –

    “Time with books will and can work miracles.
    A child needs books and people who care,
    not just teachers but also home supporters.”

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful and introspective poem — That photograph is not only breathtaking but perfect for the content of this poem!

    Much enjoyed!


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