Pajamas Inside Out and Backwards…

It is every kid’s dream and we do not outgrow it…the morning that the announcement confirms hopes and suspicions that school is closed and there is no need to scramble out the door. Today, it happened again for the district in which I am teaching this week. Honestly, I am a lucky charm for snow days. Especially this time of year. This is the third year in a row, in fact, that on a Wednesday in late winter, while I am teaching at this particular school, that the snows have seized the day.

I love the gift of the extra time to do other things, believe me. I appreciate not leaving my host’s home at 6:30 a.m. to make the drive to start first period at 7:45, the faces of tired and semi-interested adolescents before me as I start the “Georgia Show,” to have one day to myself. That seems decadent and delicious in the midst of my schedule. 
 
But, as a teaching artist, it also means a day lost in my process, as well as creates the need to figure out how to reschedule everything or lose a day’s income when the billing is finalized. In some schools, a snow day is not excluded. Other schools will not pay the lump sum. It depends on many factors. So a snow day is also a mixed blessing.
 
This morning, I am tending the fire in the fireplace, sipping a third cup of coffee, catching up on my blog, and getting ready to finish reading a great book by an icon and wayshower in the worlds of poetry and arts in education, Richard Lewis. Richard was honoring the poetry that is inherent in children’s hearts when I was becoming a poet myself in the early 60s. The book for the morning is when thought is young:  Reflections on Teaching and the Poetry of the Child
 
Another of my very favorites is Richard’s anthology of poetry from students of English-speaking countries, Miracles. This book is out of print but I have consistently found it on line used. Although published in the mid-60s, the poetry is still relevant. It also depicts quality poetry that can be created by young minds, young writers. Too often we rely on adult words to fulfill student interest. It is so easy for them to then draw the judgment that they are unable to do what the grownups can do. With this resource of delightful and insightful poems by youth, it supports the assertion that our students can make poems that others want to read and that they, themselves, can be proud of sharing.
 
Still at the work in 2010, generous with his gifts and insights, gentle of voice and nature, Richard has given me the perfect fireside reading while the world outside is all aflutter with flakes and I feel like a small figurine inside a snow globe.
Thanks again for following my blog. I appreciate your consideration of my words and thoughts.

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