More Student Poetry

I had planned on posting more poetry about six weeks ago, but school ending and other stuff kind of got in the way. Hope these still bring a smile or a good memory.

The Beautiful Ocean

by James

I stand frozen like a statue

admiring the beauty of the lapping waves.

She slowly moves back and forth

like a butterfly gracefully flying.

She acts like a mirror

reflecting everything in sight.

As I slowly walk away

she says goodbye

in a soft voice.

***

What Am I?

by Unique

I slowly creep through the grass

I cannot move fast

I am like a worm

crawling on a leaf.

I tell stories to kids in the sea

about what good adults they will be.

I won against the hare

because I took my time.

He thought he would win

because his legs are faster than mine.

I may look young, but

trust me, I am old.

I am talked about horribly in this world.

You should check the things you say,

because you will also be old and slow one day.

***

Lost Mother

by Jonathan

The wind blew,

moving my hair around.

I closed my eyes

and heard her whisper my name.

She held me as her own

while I rested in the grass.

I remembered the love in her voice

as I drifted to sleep.

When I awoke, I reached out

but could not find her.

My eyes teared up

as I remembered her.

***

School is out and I have now retired. Twenty-nine years is enough, I have decided. I plan to do some writing of my own, but I sure enjoyed teaching these talented students. They will always be a part of my heart.

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Student Poetry (I’m proud of them)

As the school year ends, I want to share some of the great works of my seventh grade students. They wrote poems about their interests with attention to figurative language and sensory details. Enjoy!

At the Beach

by Brianna

Under the radiant sun all day

my family and I sat and played.

We splashed and scared the fish

as small as fleas.

The water, a beautiful clear blue,

refreshed on this exciting day.

As time went by, we sat together

and let the ocean speak to us

in the pink light of the setting sun.

***

The Best Day

by Latavia

It was a beautiful day.

The sun was beginning to seep

through the lightly shaded clouds.

Then I rounded third base

my heart racing, as fast

as a fox, I slid home.

There was a long silence …

and then the ump shouted,

“SAFE!”

The crowd erupted like

a thousand horns in my ear.

My smile was too big to control.

My uniform was covered in soft dirt.

It was the best, most beautiful,

just-the-right-temperature day.

***

The Beach

by Elisa

As the sun arose across the way

the water waved to me today.

I lay down in the sand,

eyes straight at the sun.

I covered my eyes while humming along

with the seagulls singing their own song.

***

Fishing

by Taylor

I went out into the wilderness

with my boat, hoping

to catch a fish or two.

I cast my bait onto the

cool, blue surface

and lay in wait.

The sweet cicadas

sang their song

all around me.

And I will remember

this day as I walk toward

home with my bass of gold

and a smile.

Thank you for reading our work…

More next week!

Gifted? Yes!

Everyone is gifted in some way. I have always believed that God put a specialty in all of us, something we are very good at doing or being.

Is one person’s gifting more important than another’s?

I think not, though often in the field of education it would appear so.

As I sit and grade essays written in preparation for our state writing test, I see all levels of language capability. On the one extreme, I grade an essay written by a seventh grader who could do tenth grade work, and on the other extreme, I grade one that couldn’t buy a vowel on Wheel of Fortune. The amazing thing is that the guy who struggles with stringing two words together, can take apart a truck motor and put it back together perfectly. He talks to me about it. I couldn’t do what he does. Another who struggles with writing can and does raise animals for the meat market at the ripe old age of thirteen. Yes, he has his own business.

Another seventh grader knows how to soothe a crying child, and what is healthy for the child to have as a snack. Another one knows the difference between archeology and paleontology, but struggles to tell why one president gave a speech a certain way, while another president handled a similar situation differently.

Is one student’s gifting to be valued more than another’s? I say, No!

Is every student destined for college? Again, a loud No! Some will go to vocational schools, others to technical schools. Some will open a business right out of high school. Why? Because they are gifted.

While I encourage every student to do his or her best, I will not act like the student who writes circles around other students is better than those who don’t write well. I hope the linguistically-gifted student understands that. And I hope that each student will recognize his or her gifting, whatever it is, as something to be thankful for and develop as they mature. We need mechanics, electricians, day-care owners, archeologists, and meat farmers!

And I will continue to teach writing skills. We need writers, too.

Stay Calm and Do Your Best

Failed test

Tad* was upset. A quiet kid, he uttered no sound and bit his lip to maintain his composure. He had failed a test. The second one in as many weeks. Not used to that, it caught him off guard. He sat there, stunned.

I was heartbroken. Here is a kid who is as pure as the new-fallen snow, always gives his best, and looks dumb-founded when someone has the gall to be disrespectful or unkind. (He just doesn’t get why someone would act that way.) He is a well-rounded kid from a good home.

It was only a couple of minutes before the bell. I told the class to clean up. I didn’t want him to dwell on it. He quietly put his books away and adjusted his backpack.

When I dismissed the class, I motioned for him to stop by my desk and talk to me. Not really knowing what to say, I tried to encourage him by telling him that these tests were difficult. (Also, he tends to over-analyze questions and sometimes the answer is the obvious. He second-guesses himself and sometimes chooses the wrong answer.)

I assured him he would do better, and I would do all I could to help him achieve his goals. He smiled and thanked me. (What a great kid!) He asked me about the impact the test scores had had on his grade. I looked and told him he had a B in my class. His lip trembled again. He forced a smile, thanked me again and went to lunch.

The following Friday was mid-term progress report day. The grades had all been entered into the computer and reports printed. The last grade entered was the at-home reading grade for books they read at home and tested on at school. This grade was totally their responsibility.

As I handed out the progress reports to Tad’s class, I couldn’t wait to give him his. The reading grade had bumped him back up to an A. When I put the report on his desk, he looked at the grade, then at me. His face lit up like a Christmas tree. Made my day.

I said to him, “You did it. All that reading you did paid off! Well done!”

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Then he just smiled. A satisfied smile.

After the class left, it dawned on me. Tad never complained, never cast blame, spouted off, or any of the things I do when I fail. He did his best in the face of failure. He continued to do right, to give his all, even when he thought it wouldn’t matter.

On that day, he was the teacher and I, the student.

*not his real name

In a Perfect World…

Wouldn’t it be great if we lived in a perfect world?

I know for me, the school day would not be so messy in a perfect world because…

teachers would:
– understand a child as well as his parent understands him.
– know that a child has soccer, football, baseball, or basketball, FFA, 4-H, cheerleading, church activities, and chores, so they do not assign homework.
– teach so that a child can easily understand, comprehend, or calculate any and all skills needed to score a high mark on the state test.
– grade every paper the same day it is done by a child to give timely feedback.
– understand that a child is human and should be allowed to have his “moments.”
– know that a child cannot sit that still for fifty minutes and should allow movement at will around the room.
– maintain control in the classroom.
– live lives above reproach, and be a positive influence.
– never, ever get tired, frustrated, or angry.
– always be considerate, pleasant, and cheerful.

and parents would:
– structure the home so their child has a good night’s sleep (8-10 hours) every night and is fed highly nutritious, very delicious meals every day.
– make sure their child maintains optimum health with yearly check-ups and regular visits with a doctor and a dentist.
– keep their child’s mind healthy by safeguarding against any and all negative influences coming from music, video games, peers, and activities away from the home.
– assure that their child is up early, clean, well-dressed, well-fed, and at school on time each day.
– keep their child’s school supplies on hand, so he always has paper, pencils, highlighters, a dictionary, a planner, and books.
– check their child’s homework and discuss it with him.
– keep up with the current information, trends, and events in all subject areas, so they can give up-to-date information and help with homework and projects.

and students would:
– learn any skill, presented in any way, no matter the type of learners they are.
– do every assignment on time, every time.
– complete a long assignment in a short time because they are focused and alert.
– easily understand, comprehend, or calculate any and all skills needed to score a high mark on the state test.
– quickly and easily dismiss any social or emotional problem that may occur during a school day, so they can focus on academics.
– always have any and all supplies needed for any assignment given.
– arrive at school on time, every day, properly dressed with completed homework in hand.
– always be cheerful, cooperative, and excited about each assignment given.

Unfortunately, there are no perfect teachers, parents, or students. The school day can get a little messy, but it is truly wonderful that we support each other by showing understanding and consideration for one another’s “imperfections.”

You are AWESOME!

You are Awesome!
I know it!
You know it!
Now, let’s prove it to the world.

I haven’t met
my students yet.
So how do I know
they are awesome?

Because each one is made
in the image of God, and
Each one has something
to offer our world.

Who will figure out the next agricultural miracle,
So that famines are unheard of?
Who will uncover the mysteries of the past
to solve the problems of today?

Who will discover the cure for cancer?
Or lupus? Or diabetes?
Who will determine how to eradicate mental disorders
like depression and others we can’t pronounce?

By the grace of God, someone will.
No, not now.
Later,
when they have matured.

After I and many others
have nurtured and taught them
how to think
deeply and critically,

And taught them not to give up
when the task is difficult,
But to plow through,
and find the answers.

Yes, I am convinced.
By Gods grace,
someone will
find the answers.

And I may be seeing them next Monday.
With eyes full of wonder.
Not theirs… mine.
Monday, the first day of school.