"The Good Teachers" appears in British poet Carol Ann Duffy's 1993 collection Mean Time. Looking at an old school photograph, the speaker reminisces about some of her former teachers. The speaker genuinely loved her English teacher, who inspired her to reach the top of the class and write poetry. But she disliked many of the other teachers: "proud," "qualified" women who told the rebellious speaker she'd fail. The speaker grows up, eventually settling down into a safe, normal, and perhaps mundane life; it's not clear whether the speaker considers this a triumph or disappointment. The poem questions what it means to be a "good" teacher as well as the way youthful rebelliousness tends to be tempered by middle age.