Teacher Day

“The World’s Best Professional Development Day.”

That’s how one teacher described Teacher Day at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival.

On Teacher Day at the Festival, pre-registered teachers of any subject matter and any grade level are admitted free of charge to all daytime events.  Since 1986, the fourteen biennial Poetry Festivals combined have drawn approximately 19,000 teachers from as far away as Florida, Maine, Minnesota and California for Teacher Day.

Registration for Teacher Day will open early in 2018. Check this page in January 2018 for more details.


  • Receive Professional Development Hours for your participation
  • Address the requirements of New Jersey Department of Education Professional Standards for Teachers, including Standard 4 (Content Knowledge) and Standard 9 (Professional Learning Environment)
  • Receive the free Festival Teachers Kit, which includes Festival Poet poems, bios, quotes and reading lists on easy-to-reproduce poet pages and teaching ideas for classroom use
  • Revitalize your creativity and love of lifelong learning in an all-day poetry retreat
  • Hear directly from poets about their writing process and their creative lives
  • Connect with poets representing various schools of poetry, cultures and points of view
  • Discover contemporary poetry you can bring back to your classroom
  • Shop the Festival bookstore, which features hundreds of titles of contemporary poetry hard to find in bookstores, and have books signed by the poets

Teacher Day events will include:

  • POETRY SAMPLER: The Festival Poetry Sampler has been one of the favorite Teacher Day events. There will be a sampler during the day and a second after dinner.
  • READINGS AND CONVERSATION feature three to four Festival Poets who each give a brief reading followed by an open-ended Q & A.
  • POETS ON POETRY: Festival Poets discuss their own sense of poetry, through reading and discussing their own poems and poems by others that are important to them.
  • POETS FOR TEACHERS: These discussions feature Festival Poets experienced in keeping poetry alive in their own and their students’ lives.
  • CONVERSATIONS: A small group of Festival Poets discusses the enduring questions evoked by poetry, such as “Poetry and the Oral Tradition” and “Going Public with Private Feelings.”
  • OPEN READINGS are ongoing all afternoon. Bring your own or a favorite poem to share!