As a Literacy Coach, I have many ways I can support teachers. Besides the actual coaching that goes on in classrooms, I’m often an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on, or even a cheerleader. Sometimes, I’m a plant.
Yesterday, in a combined 2nd/3rd grade classroom, the teachers were introducing the idea of poetry and poetry notebooks. I was sitting on the floor near the students and was determined to encourage enthusiasm for the new poetry units.
“We’re going to be starting new reading and writing units,” she began.
“Both of our new units are going to be studying and writing poetry,” she finished.
Before any of the students could react, I let out an audible, excited gasp. Like a ripple spreading on the calm surface of pond, the gasps from children began and continued until everyone was showing their excitement for poetry.
“So, to help us with this, each of you is going to get your own poetry notebook to decorate any way you like,” she continued, showing her own journal decorated with photographs, drawings, and words.
Again, I gasped in amazement at both her journal and the excitement of each child getting their own. Again, the students gasped, this time almost all in unison at the thought of getting their own journals.
Finally, since this new poetry work wasn’t starting until next week, she announced for the next two writing workshops, they could free write.
One last time, I gasped in amazement as kids joined me chatting about what they would write about.
If you even need a plant to grow some enthusiasm around poetry or any other topic, let me know.