Teacher Retirement Poem

I was asked to write this for a retirement reception for some special ed and kindergarten teachers. You may not understand it all, since it is specific to our school, policies, their sayings, and duties. I have been teaching elementary music for 27 years, and private piano 9 years before that.  It is a pleasure to thank other teachers for all they do.  Please remember this is copyrighted work. I will happily grant permission for you to use it if you:

1. ASK and credit me as the writer, of course. Leave a request below, with your state (or country, if not the USA). I’d like to see  all the places this little poem travels!
2. If you print it, please include the copyright and words below it. Make no more than 2 printed copies–one for you and one for retiree.
3. If you have a facebook account,  please “like” my facebook page.  
4. You can also follow my amazon author page.

Thank you for reading, Wynne (wih-NEE’)


Seeds You’ve Sown

by Wynne Huddleston

No bells to alarm,
no papers to correct
no parents to charm,
nor money to collect,

no mindless repetition,
no children left behind,
no scolding, admonitions
no young minds to refine,

no discipline forms to fill,
no watching out for bullies,
no walking up the hill,
no cold morning duties,

no uniforms, no calming
kindergartners’ fears.
From SPED and I.E.P.s
to mainstreamed and Tiers–

whatever the “powers
that be” contrived–
you put in the hours
and somehow survived.

Amidst chasing rabbits,
tornado procedures,
correcting bad habits,
and calling legislatures,

you still found time to give
a smile, a nod, a touch,
a cougar buck or high-five,
things that meant so much

to a struggling girl or boy.
Now you have done your best
time to go out and enjoy,
or maybe get some rest!

But this is not the end
bells will continue to ring
and surely you, my friend,
will be reminded each spring

that the seeds of wisdom you’ve sown
will become fruitful trees
and in turn, when full grown,
will replant those same seeds.

©Wynne Huddleston 2011
Author of From the Depths of Red Bluff,  Amazon.


Joyce's Poem

95 thoughts on “Teacher Retirement Poem

      • I love your poem! My two granddaughters had one very special kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Avil in Carney Elementary School, Carney, Md., who expects to retire this year. I would like your permission to use it as a gift for her. Thank you p.s, both of them want to be a teacher “just like Mrs. Avil.”

      • Hi! That’s very sweet and I’m sure that since she is an inspiration to her students she was a great teacher. I have 2 granddaughters also! Kylie is 1 in a couple of days and Julia is 16!!!

    • I am hoping I can get permission to use your poem for a kindergarten teacher that is retiring at my school. I’d love to use your poem as it says what I want to say but so much more eloquently. Thank you for your consideration. The school is in Hanover, MN

      • Granted. Our kinders are having graduation programs all week. Congrats to the kinder teacher on retirement! Thanks for letting me know your location, Jen. And thanks for the facebook like : )

  1. This poem left me a heart felt message; for we dont really appreciate our teachers until we’re old enough to realize the lessons we’ve learnt – and by the time we are our old teacher’s age, we strive to aim the message across. This truly touched my heart, and I hope that it has for you too.

  2. One of the finest poems I have read. You are quite the rhymer here, and that is where my heart lies… well, with the writer, too.

  3. I work with special ed. children and the staff member I work with will be retiring; in fact, our librarian is also retiring and I wish to include both “Seeds you’ve Sown” and “Time to Re-Joyce” in our (staff/Student) goodbyes to these two wonderfully talented people. Please grant me permission to do so as your message is ever so beautifully written. You most certainly will receive credit for the written work which you richly deserve!!

    Thank You,

  4. [Wynne] your heartfelt, sincere poem inspired me to write my own for several of my colleagues leaving the profession! Thank you for sharing! Fond regards,

  5. I would love to print this off and give it to my grandmother. She just retired after 30 yrs from Ragland School in Ragland, Alabama. Thanks in advance 🙂

  6. I would love to share your poem with one of our special teachers who is retiring. You described her experience in many ways. So may I share this with her at her retirement gathering? Chris

  7. I would like to give this poem to 3 of our teachers retiring at the end of school (Next week). May I have your persmission to give your beautiful poem to these 3 wonderful ladies who have committed their lives to teaching.

  8. Love your poem – it would be perfect to read to two of our retiring teachers! May I have your permission to do so. – Thank you! – Judith

  9. Hi, I think your poem is beautiful and would like to give it to the teacher I work for. I am a para in a second grade classroom.

  10. We have 2 Special Education supervisors retireing this year and we would like to use the poem at their party. We will definitely give you credit. THANK OU

  11. I would love to use this poem–modify what doesn’t apply from your school to mine–and use it for a retiring colleague. May I? Thank you.

  12. What a beautiful poem! I am an ELL assistant and would love to give it to a teacher in my department that is retiring this year. May I have your permission to share it?

  13. May I use your poem at a 35th retirement from teaching celebration today? I will need to tweak it a bit for our school. NJ

  14. I am from Washington State and I would appreciate your permission to use your poem to honor a retiring friend and educator. It is beautifully written and expresses our appreciation for all her years of loving service.

  15. Hello, I would love to use this poem for my first grade team member that is retiring. Would it be okay to use your poem and modify it to suit her. Thanks for writing such a beautiful poem.

  16. Wonderful poem. I would love to use it at our retirement celebration for several of our educators here in Kentucky. May I? Felicia

  17. With your permission, I would like to quote your poem in our Greater Bridgeport Retired Teachers Association quarterly newsletter, The quote, of course, would also give credit to you.
    Thanks, Bob Pitzschler, President, Greater Bridgeport (CT) Retired Teachers Association

  18. Just in a planning mode to do something special for a teacher. Was thinking of using it and giving you credit by stating “adapted from…..” Your thoughts.

  19. In May I have been asked to give my colleague’s retirement speech. I would love to be able to include your poem in my speech. My colleague and I are both special education teachers.

    Huntington Woods, Michigan

  20. We would like to use this poem for a retirement party and just change the name of the mascot if that is okay.

    Moseley, Virginia

  21. Hello,

    I would like to read your poem to eleven retiring teachers this Thursday, May 11, 2017

    It is perfect!

    Thank You!


  22. I am a middle school teacher in Virginia, and I would love to share this with a few retiring colleagues. Would it be okay if I modify a couple things to make it more “middle school” and share aloud at an upcoming retirement party? Your byline would still stand, of course, and I would note that the lesser modifications had come from me. Thanks.

  23. Hello! What beautiful words, and it still applies to middle school as well! May I use your poem and tweak it to meet the needs of my retiree? Thank you for your consideration! So sweet!

  24. Hi there, I’d love to use this amazing poem for my son’s retiring kindergarten teacher…..It gave me chills! We are in Virginia 🙂

  25. I would love to use this – adapted in places – for 2 teachers who are retiring from our school this summer. Both of them have taught for over 25 years, mainly in my school. Thank you 🙂 – Michelle (Scotland)

  26. Hello,
    I would like to get permission to use your poem for a friend/coworker who is retiring from 30 years of teaching, with a couple of tweaks, because she is a high school teacher. I’m from Richmond, VA but it will be read in Newport News, VA.

  27. Hello,
    I would like to get permission to use this poem for my dear kindergarten coworker that is retiring this year after 25 years. I am in Mobile, AL.

  28. I’d love to be able to read your poem to a retiring principal whose love of children and gardens knows no bounds! She will love it!

  29. Dear Wynne,
    I would love, if you would allow, to be able to use your poem above for two very special teachers that are retiring from specialized services. Would this be okay?
    School Counselor
    Sioux Fall, SD

    • Hello Jenn in SD Awesome! Thank you for listing your state. I’d love it if you find me on Amazon (From the Depths of Red Bluff) or facebook (Wynne Huddleston Poetry) with a shoutout!

  30. Beautiful! I would like to share this poem with our music teacher who is retiring (Atlanta, GA). Please let me know if this okay with you. Stay safe!

  31. Dear Wynne,
    Your poem is amazingly well written. So true to education. I would love to use your poem above for a talented and special teacher that is retiring. May I please be granted permission to use this poem for her?


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