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.


  • Receive Professional Development Hours for your participation (6 PDH awarded for attendance at all daytime events; 9 PDH awarded for daytime and evening attendance)
  • Address the requirements of New Jersey Department of Education Professional Standards for Teachers, including 2016 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!