A day filled with poetic rewards

By admin
30 October 2013

Our education blogger is reminded once again why teaching is so rewarding when she gets a surprising response to a poetry assignment in the classroom.

It’s nearly “that time of the year” again. Everyone is tired after a full year of school activities. We’re coming to the end of the syllabus and the time for revision, setting exams and loads of marking is here.

The teachers wish the exams would start because the learners are becoming increasingly restless and demanding. They’re also tired and not everyone is looking forward to all the revision and looming exams.

Then I walk into the classroom last week, thinking I’ll finish discussing the poem we’d started previously and do one more poem to finish off for the year. One of the boys puts up his hand to ask a question. “Miss, when are we going to write our poems?”

Yes, you read right. It was a boy who asked despite the misconception that most boys don’t like poetry.

I checked my watch and saw we had about seven minutes to go before the end of the period. “Now,” I said. “You can each write me a poem now.”

To my surprise everyone enthusiastically started writing. The theme for their poems? How I Feel.

When the bell rang I collected each poem at the door as they filed out.

News spreads fast and when the next class arrived, someone said, “Miss, I hear we’re writing poems today.” So for the rest of the day I gave each class the opportunity to write a poem.

A few hours later I started reading through the pile of poems. I thought they’d be simple little rhymes but to my surprise and excitement  I read one excellent poem after the next.

I was so impressed with the learners’ efforts that I decided to bind the 10 best poems in a booklet: best three in colour and another seven in black and white.

The reaction was unbelievable. The learners whose poems had been selected were bursting with pride. And the others wanted me to read the poems out loud so they could applaud their classmates.

What I’m really trying to say is: We must seize every opportunity to help learners.

And so another day in the classroom was rewarded.

I was impressed and surprised by the learners’ creativity and enthusiasm to come up with such excellent attempts in only a few minutes.

And the learners’ proud and excited faces when they saw the booklets with their poems was ample reward.

The exercise has sparked an enthusiasm for writing among the learners, which is no bad thing as they’ll soon be writing exams!

No day is the same when you’re a teacher. And each day brings its rewards and little pleasures.

-Olga

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