Saturday, August 22, 2009

Back to School Poems...

Just three more days until my room is filled with students! I have a new way of thinking about being "ready". There is no magical ready moment. For the last several years, I have worked through August, trying to make things neat and tidy and perfect. And the first few days still hit me like a ton of bricks. Even worse, I had worked so hard ahead of time that I was exhausted and drained before my students even walked in the door.

So, since I cannot be absolutely ready, I'm saving my strength. I'm saving my enthusiasm, my excitement, and my energy for my time with the students. This means that I won't have a tabbed binder of student names ready for the first day of school, won't have every student name written neatly on every folder, won't have an organized library. But I will have more emotional resources to learn names, play games, and eat lunch with my students. These are the things that will be more important in the long run. My students don't ever come to me and say, "I'm so glad that you have an organized tabbed binder with all of our names in it!" But they do say, "Could you eat lunch with us? I'm a little nervous about the first day."

How will this approach work? I'll find out this week and report!

Of course, I haven't stopped thinking about school. I've just decided to focus on doing what I like. And what I like is planning. We're doing found poems and sharing some poems together on the first day. On the second day, I'm going to introduce a set of point/counterpoint poems that I wrote last year and posted over on TeachersPayTeachers. These two poems showcase two opposing feelings about coming back to school. One speaker is excited and enthusiastic, while the other wishes for more weeks of summer. Kind of the way I'm feeling right now! I hope that this will generate some good discussion with the students, and maybe lead into us writing point/counterpoint poems together.

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