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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New School Year Begins


As a new school year is about to begin, teachers, students, and parents are all busily preparing for a new term. Parents and students are shopping for school supplies and perhaps a new school wardrobe to accommodate the summer growth spurt. Teachers are busily studying the year’s curriculum, planning lessons, and decorating their classroom. Anxiety is rampant for each in different ways. Students are anxious about who their teacher is and if their teacher will “like” them; they worry about getting bullied by classmates. Teachers hope that their students will be respectful and attentive to instruction, that the relationships with their students’ parents will be beneficial to the learning process. Parents worry about their child’s teacher, the quality of instruction, and the classroom setting in which they hope their child will thrive. The following poem is from the perspective of a parent:

We held their hands the first day of school.
Our hearts were filled with pride.
There was an aura of fear and apprehension
As we stood close to their side.
We deposited our children at your door,
Our most precious and prized possessions.
We trusted that you would give them more
Then Reading and Writing lessons.
Our unspoken words were, give them self worth.
They are little children, respect their rights.
Teach them with love and remember compassion.
Use a firm hand to break up their fights.
As the years went by, you did us proud
With your guiding hand and understanding smile.
You gave much more than we expected.
That was your way, your undeniable style.
What higher tribute can we pay a teacher?
To what greater heights can he ascend?
Than to have his students praise his work,
And to say "He is my friend."
- Myrna Beth Lambert


This next poem, A Classroom, which I wrote, is a Noticing Poem that utilizes the refrain, I Know. A Noticing Poem focuses on sounds, smells, and words that use imagery so that the reader can picture something in his or her mind. As students, parents, and teachers all get ready to begin another school year, perhaps this Noticing Poem will help prepare you for that special first day.


I Know a Classroom... (sounds)
+ The quiet chatter of students conferring on a team project
+ The clicking of computer keys as students compose individual essays on their keyboards
+ The startling, piercing ring of the school bell announcing the end of class

I Know a Classroom... (smells)
+ The allergy-afflicting suffocation of airborne chalk dust
+ The gagging perspiration odors following afternoon recess
+ The heady intoxicating smell of permanent markers

I Know a Classroom... (words)
+ "Students, please take your seats."
+ "I forgot my homework."
+ "Great job, class."

I Know a Classroom...

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