Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Birth of a Poem

There I was at approximately 7:45p.m. and decided to tackle my paperwork a bit early before the kids actually made their way to bed. I carefully placed each item in its proper location on our wooden kitchen table. Laptop to the right for recording grades and twittering while I work, ungraded pile of student work directly to its left, and the completed pile just under that. Of course, my hazelnut flavored cup-o-joe was close by as well as the charging iPod.


Just as my work area was prepped and ready, my four year old son suddenly dove into the kitchen with his "Thomas the Tank Engine" Laptop and promptly joined me at the table. It wasn't long until he made his way to my welcoming lap when we read through a writing assignment one of my students had completed. The writing by the way was very good and filled with wonderful descriptive phrases that led Gavin and I down the road to great conversations.

Fast forwarding the scene a bit, Gavin felt so inspired by the writing that it led him to place his pencil to paper where he began to create his very own "Halloween poem to display at his school."

Ghosts, Witches,
and Kids
Trick or Treat
in the city
and vampires
all the kids
are trick or treating
all the kids
dressing up for

This was an amazing moment for me to witness this story literally come alive. Gavin was filled with an intense sense of urgency to finish the poem despite the fact that bedtime was quickly approaching and there was simply no stopping that train.

From a teacher's perspective there is so much that I can speak to. For instance, Gavin had an authentic audience that he was writing for, his school. For this reason it drove him to do his very best work that he wanted to desperately share with others. He was able to draw from his previous experiences which allowed him to tap into his language and knew what his message was going to be. He had his topic and then knew what genre would fit his apparent need at the time, poetry.

From a parental perspective I am just so thankful to be a dad and I am touched each and everyday by this wonderful gift. Right now I am really just trying to enjoy these days that I still get to carry them to bed, and help them brush their teeth, and to be able to spin them around through the air while they are in my arms. I absolutely treasure each moment I can hold my kids in my arms because I know it won't be long before I am teaching them how to drive and help them decide on which college to choose.

This was certainly one of those defining moments for me as a dad and honestly I am still trying to find the right words that explains the fact that my eyes are filling up with tears while I am actually writing this. At any rate, if you have read this far I thank you for your time.

1 comment:

  1. That is SO SO amazing. (I only had to peek at the translation a coupla times.)