Teaching Minds and Touching Hearts


What thoughts come to your mind when you read that word?  I’m sure many of us can call to mind certain teachers who were especially memorable; some for good reasons, and others not so much.  Today as I thought of a poem I’d like to share with you, a clear image of one of my high school English teachers came to mind.  My first impression of her was that of an extremely particular lady who gave tons of homework.  By the end of high school, she was a dear friend.

This English teacher constantly had us writing:  free writing journals every day, grammar practice, responses to writing prompts, you name it.  She is the person responsible for me having legible cursive handwriting.  Oh, the frustration of writing twenty perfectly spelled words, and then having points counted off my grade just because a letter F did not loop the right way or a letter A was not completely “closed” at the top!  I was thankful throughout college and adulthood, though, for my quick, neat handwriting.  (Sadly, now that I use a keyboard most of the time, I am losing my handwriting skills.  It’s so much faster and easier to type!)

I believe the most fun we a had in her classes was memorizing, reciting, writing, and analyzing poetry.  Out of the dozens of poems I studied during two years in her classes, here is one I can still recite from memory because of its imagery and message:


The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
b&w film copy neg.
photo from the Library of Congress

2 thoughts on “Teaching Minds and Touching Hearts

  1. Nice post. I remember the poem you enclosed. I think I would have taken the road less traveled.
    I often think, “What If,” I had done this or that differently in my life. “What if,” I have chosen another path. Makes one wonder – “What If.”

    Liked by 1 person

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