Poems for Teachers

Poems for Teachers

Newly qualified teachers in 2018 will be welcomed with a gift that lets them know they are not alone, whatever challenges they meet. 

The pocket-sized book of poems about teaching will be given to all probationers – and the experiences it describes will speak to all teachers.

Image of graduating doctor (c) University of Dundee

The book, titled To Learn The Future: Poems for teachers, is due in summer 2018, and as well as copies gifted to all NQTs, there will be copies for sale too. It’s edited by teachers for teachers, published not-for-profit by the Scottish Poetry Library, and supported by a group of professional organisations across the Scottish education sector, including the General Teaching Council of Scotland and unions like the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS). The poems are funny, serious, subversive and/or inspiring. Some are about the individual perspectives that different teachers and pupils bring to the classroom; some are about moments that every teacher can recognise.

GTCS Teaching Scotland interview about the book

The backstory: Tools of the Trade for graduating doctors

Since 2014, the Scottish Poetry Library has worked with doctors to produce a similar book of poems for all new doctors graduating from Scottish medical schools. ‘I felt that the book motivated me to go into the wards and do a good job for the patients every day,’ wrote one new doctor, ‘but I also got some comfort in the poems that my challenges are not unique and there is a great support network within the profession.’   

He also thought the poems were ‘short enough to enjoy during a hectic period of graduates’ lives or during a coffee break at work’ – and that’s exactly what we want for this book for teachers, offering something both readable and resonant to help reflect on experience and sustain teachers throughout their careers.


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Our Partners

The book is becoming reality through the support of our partners, the General Teaching Council of Scotland and the EIS, plus the Scottish Secondary Teachers’ Association, the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers, and the Association of Headteachers and Deputies Scotland.  Their support will help give these books free to all teacher training graduates in Scotland in 2018.