A Poem for Teachers

In the fifth grade, I was blessed to be a Webbling, or one of Mr. Webb’s students. At first, he was intimidating with his daily suits and one raised eyebrow. He certainly ran a strict classroom with high expectations, but he inspired us along the way too. Mr. Webb was the best teacher I ever had, and countless students from numerous generations agree that he was the best in our district.

Late last year, we found out that Mr. Webb had cancer. Immediately, students, colleagues, and friends began planning two separate reunions. Many of his students lived locally and were able to attend. Others flew from all over the country to see their favorite teacher one last time and thank him for his life lessons.

Mr. Webb passed away today after a long battle with cancer. This poem is my tribute to him. Thank you, Mr. Webb for all that you did to inspire me and countless others to go after our dreams. You live on in our memories and our contributions to society.

Lessons I learned from Mr. Webb:

True intelligence isn’t knowing everything; it’s knowing where to find anything.

Making fun of others is a reflection on you rather than on them.

Handwriting is important and personal.

If you stand on a busy corner in Chicago and look at the sky, people will stop and do the same.

You should always dress up when you attend a play.

High expectations breed high achievement.

Teachers are people with lives outside of teaching.

If you only take one trip in your lifetime, go to England.

Ronald Webb and Bobbie Gross

Sharing a moment with Mr. Webb at his second reunion. He always wore the best sweaters.


This is the poem I wrote for Mr. Webb and read at his retirement party in 2000. I was in the sixth grade. He actually retired from public school only to go on and teach for many more years at a private school.


Thank your favorite teacher today. Thank a teacher. Don’t forget to use #ThankaTeacher.

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