Your post reminded me of one of the great teachers of my life, Professor Marc Crawford, the late journalist and pioneering Jazz critic. He taught my freshman composition class at NYU, way back in the early '80s.
My classmates and I were the inarticulate sons and daughters of middle-class privilege, and Professor Crawford didn't hide his contempt for our shameful inability to speak and write our own language He would often vent his fury at us in spontaneous rants that left us flush with embarrassment.
During one such tirade, he abruptly stopped to ask each of us in turn to "please name and recite your favorite poem." Of course, no one could even name
a poem, much less recite one. In digust, he announced our next assignment would be to stand in front of the class and recite two poems, without notes: "Invictus," by William Ernest Henley, and "If," by Rudyard Kipling.
Somehow, we all managed to pull it off, and the effort made us better people. The poem is forever taped to the refrigerator in my mind :)
Sadly, I learned that Marc Crawford died in 1996. Here is a tribute I found in an NYU publication: A Farewell to Marc Crawford - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JvH-Gbc2PRekZvjnzxTgLfTcCYA4xwtaii7g_0Ix0_k/edit
Sorry for the long post, but you brought to mind something very meaningful :) Thanks!