As a teacher I look for ways to engage my students, inspire them to take risks, creatively express themselves and to think critically as they solve problems. While these are wonderful things, I have found that I don’t always take enough time to sit down, dig into the tasks and take risks myself, express myself creatively and work on solving the problems with them.
As April is poetry month, we have been looking at a variety of styles of poetry, poets and the power of the spoken word. Together we decided to write poems and record them as podcasts which will eventually be published to an audio gallery on our class website. Though we were all excited about this, I was surprised when many of the students suddenly became quite shy. Putting their voices out there in a poem was risky. It was more personal, and there was a fear of doing it wrong, or being judged.
I then asked myself “when was the last time I wrote a poem and put it on display for the world”? I realized I needed to not just show the class other poets, but be willing to add my own voice as well. Backing up a step I added a picture to our website, wrote an example of a Haiku inspired by it, and invited the class to respond with a poem of their own in the comments. This seemed like a safe place to start, and everyone gladly participated.
Gliding around the fish tank
Teasing cats and dogs
by Mrs. Schoeler