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California Poets in the Schools’ mission is to develop and empower a multicultural network of independent Poet-Teachers, who bring the many benefits of poetry to youth throughout the State. As a membership network, we offer opportunities for professional development, peer learning, and fundraising assistance for Poet-Teachers in California.


As Poet-Teachers, there are opportunities within the poetry community for writing, reading and critiquing our own poetry. But the primary opportunity for developing our skills for teaching poetry are offered by California Poets in the Schools.  


Poet-Teachers are independent contractors, negotiating with school districts and classroom teachers to share their poetry expertise with California’s youth. Poet-Teachers enjoy the scheduling freedom the independence brings and can benefit from the deep resources of a larger organization. CalPoets assists Poet-Teachers to develop a professional practice which is financially successful, and a professional path which evolves over the years. 

Please note that this page is under construction.  We are working to make resources available within this portal for active Poet-Teacher members.


Professional Development

Active Poet-Teachers are invited to attend monthly gatherings and an annual Symposium, to learn and share with experts from within and outside the network.

Use of Organization Name & Logo

Active Poet-Teacher members may use the California Poet-Teacher in the Schools' designation and CalPoets' logo in biographies, contracts and other professional correspondence.

Access to CalPoets' Grants

Active Poet-Teacher members may apply for CalPoets' grant funds.  At this time we offer Special Projects Grants for poetry-related projects and insurance grants when your district requires liability insurance.  

Lesson Plans

Active Poet-Teachers can access proven lesson plans for all grade levels (this webpage is currently under construction) and a complimentary copy of Poetry Crossing, our lesson plan book. 

Fundraising & Professional Support

Active Poet-Teachers can receive assistance with launching and sustaining a Youth Poet Laureate program, a Poetry Out Loud program, communications with schools and districts, etc.  In addition, CalPoets can provide fundraising assistance such as applying for foundation or government grants to support local projects.

Forms & Contracts

Active Poet-Teacher members have access to CalPoets' contracts and forms.  CalPoets' can act as a fiscal receiver of funds from schools and districts when necessary.

Annual Statewide Anthology

Active Poet-Teachers are  invited to submit student and Poet-Teacher poems to the CalPoets' annual poetry anthology.

Listing in our Public Database

Active Poet-Teacher members can opt to create a profile listing in our public database (a new database is coming soon) and receive referrals to interested school districts in your county. 

Artistic Recognition and Support

Active Poet-Teachers are actively recruited to headline CalPoets' events including quarterly Open Mic's and our annual Symposium.  We celebrate Poet-Teacher artistic successes in our newsletter and social media.  In addition, CalPoets nominates active Poet-Teachers for laureate positions, as well as various prizes and awards.


Apply, Interview, Attend Orientation & Complete Training 

Initially, submit a professional application for review by the CalPoets' Membership Committee and participate in an interview. Upon acceptance, attend an orientation and complete an individualized training.

Follow Simple Branding Guidelines

Follow simple branding/messaging guidelines. 

Engage with the CalPoets' Network

Participate in at least three CalPoets'-sponsored events each year.

Teach Poetry, as a CalPoets' Poet-Teacher, in at least one K-12 Classroom each year

Teach at least one poetry residency (typically 5-10 classes) in a California K-12 class in a calendar year, as a CalPoets' Poet-Teacher. 

Annual Recertification

Annual recertification is required (primarily a simple form via Submittable).

Artistic Participation and Leadership

Demonstrate leadership and/or artistic participation in poetry-related community outreach or events.

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