Monday, April 16, 2007

One day not long ago, looking for inspiration, I took a short walk through the school where I teach, and, as usual, I found what I was looking for:

* A small group of pre-K children were rehearsing a song about spring with Laurie. They were in her office/classroom next to the teachers' room, so I stopped in for a moment. The room was buzzing with excitement, and Laurie was enjoying it as much as the children. I guess I was their first official "audience", and they performed the song with gusto. I was pleased to see young Tyler Flynn (the soon of John, my former student) singing and cavorting around, and I noticed Hunter and Erica were among the lead dancers and singers. What I noticed most was the excitement and joy in the children's faces, and I left the room hoping I could bring a little more of that to English class.

* I then walked down to the Mitchell Building, where I noticed the art work on the bulletin boards -- some intricate drawings of rooms at home. I admired the care with which they were obviously done, as if the artists were thoroughly invested in their work. They were unlike any student drawings I had ever seen -- sort of like architectural drawings or designs. I noticed a sign at the beginning of the display, advertising the work as "liner perspectives in contrast with flat color and the picture plane". That sounded very sophisticated to me, and it fit perfectly with the sophisticated drawings I had seen. I'm now renewed in my interest in giving my English students sophisticated assignments as well.

Finally, I want to share some excerpts from 6th grade poems which I found on the bulletin board outside Carol's room -- wonderful tributes to National Poetry Month:

"The owl and I

Always alert and careful about things

Buzzing by…

Quick with thinking

The owl and I."


"I am a buttercup

Tiny, sweet, and bright…"


I am a tree…

On rainy, wet days, I blow, and bang my branches…"


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