Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry: A Program for High School Youth


Teachers open the door. You enter yourself.

— Chinese Proverb

This workshop asks participants to broaden their ideas about teachers and learners. It provides an opportunity for reflections, discussions, and writing of a more personal nature than previous workshops. If you are not doing the workshops in order, you will want to facilitate this workshop with a group that has had an opportunity to bond to a level at which its members are comfortable sharing personal experiences.

This workshop includes, as an alternate activity, a guided visualization. Both alternate activities provide an opportunity to focus on spiritual teachers or guides, which differ somewhat from the teachers of life lessons that are the focus of the main workshop activities. If you want to create a workshop that explores more fully the notion of spiritual guides, try using both alternate activities along with Activity 3, Life Lesson Poems. Simply adjust the Activity 3 instructions so that participants write a spiritual life lesson (a life lesson that helped the participant feel more connected to others, to nature, to their faith, or to the universe in general).


This workshop will:

  • Use poetry to explore our relationship to our spiritual and lifetime teachers, both human and nonhuman
  • Remind us that sometimes teachers and teachings come in unlikely forms
  • Encourage participants to write a poem about a teacher
  • Optional: Provide an opportunity for participants to thank a past teacher
  • (Optional) Use a guided meditation to envision a spiritual guide
  • (Optional) Engage youth in making a bracelet

Learning Objectives

Participants will:

  • Acknowledge and honor sources of guidance in their lives
  • Experience poetry that illuminates the teacher/student relationship in new ways
  • Express, through poetry, a lesson learned from a guide in their life
  • Optional: Express thanks to someone from whom they have learned a life lesson
  • Optional: Identify a personal spiritual guide through a guided meditation
  • Optional: Create a visual reminder of their connection to their spiritual guide