Remembering a Special Teacher

by | Sep 9, 2021

I am sad to hear that John Plummer, a wonderful educator, recently passed away. My condolences to John’s family. Please know that he made a lasting impact on people’s lives.

Upon reading the notice, my memories took me back to Cole Junior High School (as it was called back then). John was part of a wonderful community that loved young learners. When I first began working in East Greenwich, Cole’s culture had a magical allure. The staff there were really special. John Plummer was one of those individuals. I can easily recall him, covered in chalk, enthralling and encouraging students. This was a beautiful thing to witness.

While being more friendly than a friend I still remember his caring, professionalism, and humor. I hope this poem – Covered in Chalk – will bring a smile of recognition. John was a big man with an equally large heart. It was great witnessing his work. 

Covered in Chalk

There stood before a classroom
Covered with white and yellow chalk
A tall imposing figure
With voice booming as he’d talk
Fifty eyes were riveted on him
Listening to each detail
From a man immersed in passion
Who would not let you fail

It’s difficult to measure
The lessons that we teach
But there are those who’ll testify
Of Big John Plummer’s reach
He’ll be remembered fondly
Whenever folks will talk
About that caring teacher
Covered with schoolhouse chalk

See you soon. Regards,
Bob

Bob Houghtaling is the director of the East Greenwich Drug Program, a mental health counselor, and poet.

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2 Comments

  1. Debra McMullen

    Wonderful poem Bob!
    John was an amazing educator and special man…EG is better because of him

    Reply
  2. Priscilla Welsh

    As always, Bob, you’ve covered your topic so well. John Plummer was worthy of your comments as well as your thoughtful and lovely poem; he’ll be missed by so many. Priscilla Welsh

    Reply

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