Sunday, November 11, 2018

The Vision of an Extraordinary Educator




Raising Student Voice: Speaking Out for Equity and Justice

“Our students’ voices matter. Their voices matter in our schools, our communities, and beyond. As teachers, we want our students to discover their own voices. We want them to know the power of their voices. We want them to know the power of others’ voices, and we want them to know the power of their collective voices. Most important, we want to help them discover how their voices might impact our world and to be empowered to use their voices to speak out for equity and justice.

“Stories can help our students discover and clarify their own voices. Stories can help us to know our world better. Stories can help us to understand our world and the people in it. Authors, teachers, and librarians work to ensure that every child has books, digital texts, and other media in which they see themselves. They also work so that students have books that can help them understand others. Our students deserve stories that impact who they are and who they can become. They deserve stories that help them understand people and situations that are different from their own. They deserve stories that help them build confidence and empathy. They deserve books that validate their world as well as books that challenge their views. And most important, they deserve to tell their own stories.

“When we meet in Houston, Texas, in November 2018, it is my hope that we will focus on the ways literacy creates change and the ways in which our students can raise their voices to impact their communities. NCTE members create spaces for students to sound their voices. In 2018, we’ll come together in Houston to celebrate our students’ voices and the impact they make in the world.”

--Program Chair Franki Sibberson

Some of the featured speakers who will be at #NCTE18:



More convention information here.

The blog's been quiet this fall, but when you see this convention that Franki's been planning, you will understand why she's gone missing. It's so...Franki! The focus on student voice, the importance of equity and justice, the diversity of the featured speakers, the innovation of the "Build Your Stack" sessions. 

Me? A bit of a rocky start to the school year and 300+ books read for the Huck Award since the middle of August.

We're both eager to be back. But first we're going to soak in the words of these (and other) amazing speakers, have joyous reunions with friends we only see once or twice a year, and do work that we love almost as much as the work we do in our classrooms.

Please join me in celebrating an extraordinary educator, my co-blogger and friend, Franki Sibberson, who will assume the presidency of the National Council of Teachers of English at the 2018 NCTE Annual Convention. A fifth grade classroom teacher with the vision, passion, and energy to lead at the national level. 

Friday, October 19, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Ode to Parent Conferences


Unsplash photo via Chandler Cruttenden


Ode to Parent Conferences

Conferences, you exhaust me.
I spend hours getting ready for you,
gathering work samples,
reviewing notes,
finding the positives amongst the goals to work on.

Conferences, you feed me.
The hours I spend talking with families,
sharing stories,
comparing notes...
you help me find more than enough positives to carry on.

©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Brenda has the Poetry Friday roundup at Friendly Fairy Tales.


Friday, October 12, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Autumn Cadenza


Unsplash photo by NordWood Themes

Autumn Cadenza

Oak leaves drift down, a brown rustle.
Crickets are hushed.
Only sound --
plop --
acorns bonk roof.
Steady
drop.
Winter is here
when they
stop.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018


This poem is a Zeno, a form invented by J. Patrick Lewis. It has 10 lines with a syllable count that goes 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1. The single syllable words rhyme.

I've seen several Zenos in the Poetry Friday Roundup recently, and I thought I'd give it a try. I was inspired by the acorns falling, and I found my rhyming words first. The temperature dropped from the 80s to a morning temperature today in the 40s. On my early morning walk today, the silence was a bit shocking -- no crickets! I'm sure we'll have some more warm weather, but winter has served notice -- she's on her way!

Laura Purdie Salas has the Poetry Friday Roundup this week at Writing the World for Kids.




Thursday, October 04, 2018

Poetry Friday -- The Poetry of US (mine)



Click to enlarge 


Click to enlarge

I'm tickled pink and proud as punch! I also can't wait to dig into the book and read all the poems...but the boxes of books for the Charlotte Huck Award keep coming and coming, so my reading life will not be my own until after NCTE! I'll try to make it around to the roundup this week, but I can't make any promises. :-(

Speaking of the roundup, Tabatha is hosting at The Opposite of Indifference.



Thursday, September 27, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Choosing Teams

Flickr Creative Commons photo by VirtualEyeSee


Choosing Teams

There are owls in the neighborhood now.
Two barred owls wondering,

“Who cooks for you?”

They wake us in the middle of the night.
We worry about the littlest skunk.

The one with white angel wings.

The silent puff of scent who cleans up dropped seed
beneath our bird feeders each dusk.

We are simply spectators in this backyard drama.

Is it bad form to cheer equally
for predator and for prey?


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



Howdy! It's good to be back!

I wrote this poem in response to Naomi Shihab Nye's challenge in her Spotlight on Today's Little Ditty. It contains a question I don't need to answer.

Jone has this week's Poetry Friday roundup at Deowriter.


Friday, September 07, 2018

A Good Problem


I'm on the Charlotte Huck Award (for Outstanding Fiction for Children) committee. This is what my basement book shelf looks like:


Several HUGE boxes have already been eliminated, weeded, and donated. Those boxes in front of the shelves and peeking from the bottom right corner are TBR. Total books received so far: +/- 300.

Then this happened yesterday:


I still need to catch up on reading through last week's roundup, but needless to say, I'll be reading books instead of Poetry Friday posts this weekend! Then next weekend is the annual Casting for Recovery Ohio retreat, so I'll be part of the team who pampers the 14 breast cancer survivors with an all expenses paid weekend wellness retreat...where they also learn fly fishing! I've written multiple posts labeled "Casting for Recovery," but this is my favorite.

See you in a couple of weeks! Happy Poetry! Happy Fridays!


Thursday, August 30, 2018

Poetry Friday -- Teaching




TEACHING

I teach,
I watch.
They fall,
I catch.

I lift,
they soar.
I brood,
they hatch.

They spread,
I gather.
I pair,
I match.

I teach,
I watch.
They fall,
I catch.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2012


An oldie goldie from (how can that be possible?) SIX years ago!

Robyn has the Poetry Friday roundup this week at Life on the Deckle Edge.



Another Must-Read...

...although I feel slightly ridiculous because the contrast between this and the book Franki posted about earlier this week is...um...stunningly contrastful. But I'm going with it.

You MUST read...


My review from Goodreads:

Don't you dare put this in your (class) library without reading it first. Don't get stuck on the knock-knock jokes thinking they are ridiculous childish humor until you see what Pilkey does with them as a plot device. Think hard about the message he gives about a bad character wanting to change. And if you don't tear up when you read p. 216-223, then you just don't even have a heart.

Dav Pilkey is flat out brilliant. I've believed that since the first Captain Underpants books, and I'm not changing my story even though he made me cry at NERD camp.

Read. This. Book.
Read. This. Series.



Sunday, August 26, 2018

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: A MUST-READ!


The book So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo was recommended to me by a few friends early last spring. I bought it, put it on my shelf and didn't get time to read it until another friend strongly recommended it to me again this summer.  I decided on the audiobook version which I highly recommend. The narrator is fabulous and listening to it in the car gave me chunks of reading at a time with time between to think and reflect. This book took me a bit of time to read--about 6 weeks. And I am so glad I didn't rush it.

This book is one I'd like to buy for everyone I know.  For my husband, my children, my friends and anyone I know who has been thinking about our role in changing things in. our world.  It is packed with information and stories that have helped me better understand issues of race and oppression. The author is incredible at sharing her understanding and she is very aware of the misconceptions and arguments people have about several of the subtopics. I so appreciated her honesty and directness. She is very clear and firm throughout the book and she gave me, as a reader,  knowledge and understanding that changed who I am and helped me realize what I could do differently on a day-to-day basis.  The Table of Contents helps to show some of the things she addresses and some questions that she answers:


This book is written for people who want to do a better job at understanding and acting when it comes to oppression--I don't think you'd pick this book up if you weren't committed to new learning.  I expected to learn from this book, but I really didn't expect for it to include as much as it did or to explain things with such depth. I felt like every 15 minute spurt required that I really stop, dig into my own biases, understandings, and actions, and figure out what each segment meant for me personally.  I liked the combination of information, stories from the author's life and the clear ways that she showed how things that may seem like "small things" are really very big things. This book really helped me better understand the systematic part of systematic racism and oppression.  It also put the few things that I did understand in a context that helped me see it differently I guess.

Ijeoma Oluo also focuses on action and helps us to see what we can and should do in our every day lives to make a difference---to act instead of merely work to understand.  I have read several other articles by the author since finishing this book and I'd buy anything she writes from now on.  She is one of those people that I'd love to hear speak sometime so I will definitely keep an eye on the events page of her website.

This is a must read for sure. So much to think and talk about. I am anxious for others I know to read it so that we can talk through some of the ideas.


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Poetry Friday -- More



The More You Love

The more you love,
the harder you work.

The harder you work,
the more you accomplish.

The more you accomplish,
the greater the expectations.

The greater the expectations,
the more epic the fail.

The more you fail,
the harder you work.

The harder you work,
the more you love.


©Mary Lee Hahn, 2018



(I think this poem might work as a reverso!)

It's the end of the first full week of school, and these first eight days have been filled with love, hard work, and a little bit of fail (not epic...not just yet). Good thing there's always a tomorrow and a next week. We pick ourselves up and try again!


Margaret has the Poetry Friday roundup at Reflections on the Teche.