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This post was originally published on the HS Bits Blog, which was active from 2008-2013.

“An invitation to consider the inner lives and circumstances of others.”

It’s always wonderful when some public figure endorses what we have dedicated our lives to doing in the English classroom, and this weekend’s piece by Bill Keller, “I Yield My Time to the Gentleman from Stratford-Upon-Avon” in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, is wonderful for us to read now as we head back to school all too soon.

Keller’s piece reminds me that sitting in front of me every September are our country’s future leaders. Here, in this classroom, in this space and time, each one of us is entrusted with this tremendous power to influence our future congressmen and congresswomen, our future leaders in the business world, and the moms and dads of tomorrow.

Keller has me hoping that the students I taught who are off to college, medical school, law school, and business programs are going to be afforded a class in poetry. And if they’re not, I hope that they will pick up a book of poetry and read it just because something I said or did in the forty minutes a day while they were mine sparked a love and a desire for it.

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