Not Just A Teacher, But A Friend Poem Summary Notes and Line by Line Explanation in English Class 9th


‘Not Just A Teacher, But A Friend’ is a short poem about a good teacher, a tribute to them rather. Throughout the poem, the persona reveals how grateful they are for such a teacher, what an experience they had thus with them. 

About the Poet:

The poet of this beautiful poem is unknown.


The theme of this poem is the positive impact a good teacher can have in their student’s life. The poem reveals how such a teacher does not instill fear in the hearts of their students but rather, acts as a friend and understands them as one. The emotional imbalance that a teenager feels can also be construed to be a theme in this poem. 


This poem is divided into five stanzas of varying length. The second and the fifth stanzas alone are quatrains. The poem follows the simple rhyme scheme of aabb and so on and so forth. 

Stanza 1:

I had nowhere to turn, had nowhere to go 
This is just something I think you need to know 
I don't know what made me trust you 
I still remember the day when I told you what I've been through 
I thought I should run away, go hide in a hole 
But then you really brought out my true soul

The poem begins with how the persona had been facing a difficult phase at that point of time, how they had been helpless with no one to turn to and wished to express to their teacher, to whom this poem is addressed to, the same. They go to state that something had made them trust their teacher and share what had been going on and how their teacher had helped them face whatever the problem had been. The persona remembers this till date, revealing what an impact the teacher had made in their life, a positive one, that is. 

Stanza 2: 

As each day grew longer 
Our trust became stronger 
Each time I wanted to cry 
You stayed there right by my side

This stanza reveals how the bond between the duo had grown with time, their trust growing as well. The persona reveals how their teacher had been with them through their dark times, remaining as a strong, soothing presence in face of their tears. 

Stanza 3:

Then I moved to the next grade 
Boy was I afraid 
That our trust would slowly fade 
But I was wrong 
We are still strong

This stanza reveals how the persona had been afraid that them moving on to the next grade would break the bond they had with this wonderful teacher. However, their fears were unfounded for the trust they had had not even cracked in the slightest, remaining strong as ever. 

Stanza 4:

Even though sometimes you don't have time 
You at least ask me if I am fine 
Even though sometimes I am not 
I feel like I have just been shot 
I smile and say yes I'm alright 
Then I walk away and you’re out of sight 
I'll just have to wait 
I still have my fate

The persona in this stanza elaborates on how their teacher, even when they didn’t have time, made sure to ask if the persona was alright. This act of kindness has clearly left an imprint in the persona’s mind for years to come. The persona then states that even if they did not feel fine as such, even if they felt terrible, they reassured their teacher that they were indeed alright with a smile. Then, they walk away with their teacher disappearing too. This reveals how the persona, as they grew, learnt to not be fully dependent on their teacher who was obviously busy, waiting for their misery to become happiness one day instead of burdening them. This is a bittersweet part in the poem. 

Stanza 5:

I am so glad 
That you were there when I was sad 
And this is what makes you 
Not just my 9th grade teacher, my friend

The poem ends with how, at the end of the day, they were glad for having such a teacher in their ninth grade. Their teacher being with them through thick and thin had made them not just an authoritarian figure in their life but a friend whose memory they cherished and were thankful for. 


This is a poem that warmly recollects the memory of a good teacher who had helped the persona get through a difficult time in their life. This thoughtfulness and kindness they had exhibited had left a positive impact in the life of the persona and deep sense of kinship they had felt with them.