Today Sara and I continued on our writing with cops and kids program. We met with Libbie Royko’s 7th graders and we completed the fist have of a guided writing clinic on conflict. We wrote an example piece together comparing a staged almost fight with a thunderstorm and then we brainstormed details for a personal […]
Teachers are also trying to survive as they are tasked with teaching kids how to take these tests, which they do by digging through past tests, posted online. Forget joy of language and the fun of discovery in poetry, this is line-by-line dissection, painful and delivered without anesthetic.
So, Sara and my latest project involves students and law enforcement officers. It’s something we have been talking about for a long time but never had the chance to implement. We’ve had a couple false starts over the years but we’ve finally got our foot in a door. We’re just starting out and we will […]
We will be putting up a full post later, but in the meantime here’s a video from our latest visit.
Enter two crackpot poets from Cleveland Ohio! Tada – Sara and I became the focus of a spectacular extravaganza orchestrated by the staff and the entire 900 members of the student body. We were led in to cheers, fed delicacies and test-drove those seats of honor as the kids ran through their routines.
Sara and my school year kicks off for earnest tomorrow with a visit to McKinley Elementary School in Elyria Ohio. This is on the heels of our visit to Bellingham Washington – just North of Seattle – and our presenting at and attending of Western Washington University and Pomelo Books amazing Poetry Camp. Shout out […]
We are so excited to work at Eastern that one year Sara had us show up a week early – we peered into the dark hallway from outside noses pressed against the locked doors like ragamuffins in a Dickens novel until the realization that the school was on Spring break finally dawned upon us.
Poetry scares teachers – how do we teach it – and more problematic for instructors, how do we interpret and or grade it? Ought we beat it with a hose as Billy Collins laments, “…tie the poem to a chair with rope and torture a confession out of it.” Or should we just let it exist floating in the air like a balloon attached to our heart by a strand of silk, ephemeral and too precious to critique?
“I’m too busy to have the poet visit my classroom.”
“You’ll get worms if you eat poop!”
This is the sage advice given to me from Max – a kindergarten student at the International School of Belgrade – just as I was leaving campus.