92: Ode to the Quiet Wheel

92: Ode to the Quiet Wheel

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Teachers

Ode to the Quiet Wheel

Quiet people have the loudest minds.

~Stephen Hawking

Here’s to the quiet student,

the one who remembers her pencil,

the one who remembers his book.

Here’s to Melanie

who always has a smile,

and to Justin,

who knows that names can hurt

along with sticks and stones.

Here’s to the students who have their homework,

every day,

who raise their hands,

who risk being wrong and speak their opinion,

when their opinion isn’t popular.

Thank you for your bravery.

John, thank you for sticking up for the underdog,

and befriending that new student.

And thanks to Katelyn for helping the substitute

that day I was out.

Here’s to the student who comes to school,

every day

hungry for an education, breakfast, or both,

who wants to learn

and listens well,

who respects his friends and teachers,

who respects the janitor sweeping the hall, the bus driver,

the cafeteria worker serving a hot lunch and cold milk,

not because he will get in trouble if he doesn’t,

but because he realizes even at this tender age

that everyone deserves respect.

Here’s to the students who know that

please and thank you go a long way.

Here’s to Amy, Rachel, Jen,

Adam, Brendan, and Joe,

Chelsea, Alanna,

Michael and DJ,

and the ones whose name you do not hear.

You know who you are.

Thank you for not taking the easy way out.


here’s to your parents.

Thank you for doing your job,

for instilling the value of an education in your child,

for modeling respect and tolerance.

Thank you for holding up your end of the bargain

when you decided to bring this

beautiful, complex human being

into this beautiful, complex world.

Thank you

for your time,

for your love,

your patience and discipline.

These are gifts your children will open —

for the rest of their lives,

pass on to their children,

their children’s children.

These are the quiet wheels,

the students who often go unnoticed —

until now.

~Mary Ellen Redmond

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