No, this is not a plug to read my blog (although…). Whenever my students actually write something in class, at least 4 students per class want me to stop everything (helping other students, finding make up work, solving world hunger and organizing world peace) and read their work. Do I want to? Sure. Am I always in the mindset and prepared to read it? Nope. Is that horrible? Probably. I just know that sometimes I’d appreciate it more if I read it later without 24 other people asking me questions and needing something.
After my third student in the same class absolutely NEEDING me to read their poem (that we wrote in the style of George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From”), another student presented me with their work. I started to put it in the pile and he took it back and said, “Just sit. I wanna read it to you.”
Another thing you should know about me is that I’m SUPER VISUAL. I can understand something if you explain it out loud to me, but if you’re wanting me to see the literary merit in a piece, I need to be physcially able to read it. So I responded with my usual, “well give it to me and I’ll read it.”
His response? This super well-behaved student, who would never settle for anything less than an A in my class? “Nope. Sit” How dare he talk to me like that!?! I can’t believe that he actually took that tone of…
Okay, Okay, so I sat…
And he read me the poem. It was awesome and the power he put into his reading made it come alive and I actually followed the whole thing. It was a stop and pay attention moment that he MADE ME HAVE and dangit if he didn’t win that fight! It made me want to play soccer again (and for those of you that know my background with soccer, you know that when I say I “played”, I used the term loosely….) and be out on a field with a team.
I’m very much looking forward to his future poems, and the prospect of his work in the poetry slam later on this year. But, I am also, looking forward to more opportunities to read writing by my students and give them immediate feedback. I can’t pretend that it’ll happen instantly all the time, but it’s days like these that make me wish it did.