I have some interesting news to share.
The Grade 10s in one of the schools where I sub began their poetry unit in English this week. I subbed for them yesterday.
One of their tasks yesterday was to write a poem in one of the forms they had already learned, then share these with the class. There were some very reluctant students; they had a low opinion about this sharing business, particularly their contributive involvement in it.
I decided to break the ice by sharing one of my poems. And I had access to two: those I published in my writing blog.
The poem I chose to share was Van Gogh and the Moon. It was a hit, particularly when I explained to the kids that the poem was an in promptu (five minute) response to a writing prompt in the local writing club.
So, yes, I got a chance to plug the Write Group as well; I told the kids that students from the school were part of the group, which peeked more interest.
But more importantly, it got each of the students to open up and share some of their poems, not just those they wrote in class yesterday, but those they had access to through their iPhones and other devices.
It was a perfect marriage of teacher and student sharing, technology (I used the Smart board; the students used their devices), and encouragement and modelling by example.
It never ceases to amaze me how well these teachable moments go when the teacher releases control and opens up to her or his students. (Of course, it also never ceases to amaze me how badly such moments go as well at times. There is a definite case for timing and thoughtful and responsive judgement here.)
These students have everything to be proud of. They have incredible imaginations, and a deep and active appreciation for written communication.
Moments like these remind me how much I love teaching, and learning with, these students.Follow @stefras