Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Way To Say Goodbye

Slice of Life Challenge #31 - March 31, 2011

Wow! Can't believe I managed the whole month. What a wonderful time!

Most of you who have read my posts perhaps have realized that I like poetry, a lot! I am excited that April is almost here, and I am writing and creating some ideas to do with students and for other teachers to do during poetry month when we return to school after break.

One of the things that I will miss this school year because I’m not in my own classroom anymore is finding and preparing a goodbye poem for my class. I collect poems with a ‘goodbye’ theme. Most of the time I have used them for the end of the year, but I also just collect them in my journals. For class, I have typed them, copied them onto colored tag, and laminated them to give on the last day of school. It’s part of the traditional closure activities that all of us do in one form or another. I realize that some students may not keep them, but students through the years return and ask if I am still handing out poems, and that she or he still had them.

So many of you have been kind and gracious enough to read and reply to what I’ve written that I am thrilled, grateful, and more than a little sad that the month is over. I have loved reading all of your posts, learning new ways to say things, learning that to dig deeply into feelings may be much of what writing is all about. It’s a wonderful trip that Two Writing Teachers has taken us on, and I appreciate it all.

I have written a goodbye poem to you all, to send you on your way back to your lives, wherever your paths take you. Best of my wishes to you.


They say it is a passing

of one condition, form, stage, activity, etc.

to another.

They say—for grace—

to show kindness, flexibility,

and again and again,

to be civil.

Yet movement

of any kind



that I resist


when saying goodbye.

In this exertion

I find myself

weak, flabby and uncoordinated.

I stumble, sigh

and finally cry.

Forgive me.

Here also are a few goodbye poems from others I have collected – some are found in anthologies, but I was unable to find a link on the Internet.

“Thoughts That Were Put Into Words” - Karla Kuskin

found in Paul Janeczko’s The Place My Words Are Looking For

“Goodbye” – quote from Dr. Seuss

“Sometimes Goodbye” Mandie McDougal

“You Reading This, Be Ready” William Stafford

“The Gift” Gregory Denman

When You've Made it Your Own... Teaching Poetry to Young People

“On The Other Side of The Door” Jeff Moss from the book by the same name

“Leaving” Judith W. Steinbergh

Paul Janeczko’s Looking for Your Name : A Collection of Contemporary Poems

“Gather Ye Rosebuds’ Dorothy K. Fletcher


  1. Thank you for all your thoughts and references. Saying good-bye in a poem to a class is a wonderful idea--better than anything I can think of to say good-bye--priceless!

  2. Lovely thought and expressed so well...thank you for your eye on poetry. It is a form that works so well for so many occasions.

  3. Wow--what a cool tradition! I may have to use that with my class this year. Thank you for the poem to all of us and also for the list of others we may want to use.

  4. Thank you for your poem and all your poetry. What a great idea to provide goodbye poems.

  5. Thank you for the beautiful poem and for all of your positive comments. I too am sad to see March go but am eager for Spring to truly be here. I think that there needs to be another full month of slicing sometime in the year. This has been such a rewarding and growing experience. Happy continued writing!

  6. What a lovely poem...and a great idea,too, for a poem as an end of the year tribute. You have been so positive and generous with your comments - I plan to check in on your blog to keep up with your doings...and to "see" you on the Tuesday slices!

  7. I can't believe the month is over! It has been fun reading your posts and your poetry. Thanks for the visits to mine and all the positive comments. Hope you'll still post on Tuesdays!

    Happy Writing

  8. Thank you for your poem. Thanks too for all of the other goodbye poems. I'll be leaving a school this year and I am already to say goodbye with poems. Thanks, too, for all of your visits to my blog this month. It's been so much fun to know people were actually reading what I wrote!

  9. What a lovely idea! I too, love poetry and use it often in my teaching in a variety of forms. I am also without a classroom this year and thus find myself working with many students throughout the school. Perhaps I will take a cue from you and extend goodbye poems not only to students but to staff members as well...I have enjoyed reading your posts this month. I especially love your font - I find it welcoming! Congrats on a month well written!

  10. I love this idea! Great poem!! I too love poetry and will have to do something like this for my students.

  11. I would love to work in the magical place where you share your ideas. I am glad to get the glimpses of your inspiration here!

  12. Congratulations on completing! Yippee.

  13. In retrospect, your goodby words are beautiful. Thanks for the resources.


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