Friday, November 30, 2018

Poetry, Principals, and NCTE

I'm catching up a bit and want to share highlights of my presentation at the NCTE conference (National Council of Teachers of English) in Houston, TX. I was lucky enough to present alongside my friend and collaborator, poet Janet Wong, Kari (K.A.) Holt, poet and author of novels in verse, and Tom Marshall, an amazing, award-winning principal from New Jersey. Our topic was "Creating a Positive School Culture Through Poetry." I set the stage with some background info and then Kari talked about how "poetry is the way you see the world" and how poetry has an ability to secretly teach empathy. Tom focused on how schools can promote literacy through poetry and find ways to create a culture of celebration. As a teacher, he would challenge students who were trying to write poetry to simply "make it look like a poem." Then, when he revealed that he wrote a poem for every single teacher on his staff, our audience was stunned! One teacher said, "Hold still, while I activate my cloning machine!" Then Janet wrapped things up by sharing a variety of ways to bring joy and happiness into daily teaching. We infused examples from our latest book, GREAT Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud, as well as examples from other books of school-themed and celebration poetry. It was inspiring just to be in the room! Here are just a few highlights from our session!












Now head on over to Carol's Corner for our Poetry Friday meet-up!

5 comments:

Liz Steinglass said...

Sylvia, it sounds like another wonderful pro-poetry presentation! I wish I had been there for the whole thing but especially to see everyone's faces when Tom said he writes a poem for every teacher. ❤️

Margaret Simon said...

I always love the presentations you do. It was fun to participate by reading my poem. You and Janet are the best poetry cheerleaders around!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks for letting us attend your presentation virtually! And I don't know how you learned how to create PowerPoint slides, but they are really wonderful.💙

Carol said...

Sylvia,
I LOVE this post! I want to share it with my principal and the rest of the staff on Monday! Thank you!!! I wish I could have been there to see this in person!

Mary Lee said...

Thanks be to you and Janet for all of the important poetry work you do!