Friday, February 18, 2011

Poetry Friday -- Thinking Outside the Box

This afternoon
in my grade level meeting
I must be prepared to
"think outside the box."

Right now
I'm remembering
the painstaking effort it took
to get in the box
in the first place.

Will there be applause
when we emerge?
Will the applause gratify us
the way the gasps of disbelief did
when we tucked our
last body

Mary Ann has the Poetry Friday roundup today at Great Kid Books.


  1. No one show that to the folks who design airline seats, okay?

    Love your twisty poem. Painfully true of so many things.
    Here's hoping for a meeting worth unfolding yourself for!

  2. Wow! As I watched the two girls get in the box, it made me think about how hard we work to get in the box in the first place. In education, the box tends to be a safe place where we just keep doing what we have always done.
    I loved the metaphor of thinking outside the box - the freedom, the excitement, etc. Hope your thinking today reaches outside of the box.
    Thanks for sharing this. The video was awesome.

  3. I cannot believe they did that. Oh, it makes my joints ache! On another angle, there's a billboard in my town advertising a funeral home. Yep, all it says is: Think outside the box.

  4. Um. Wow. That's unbelievable!

    Nice poem too. I like the idea of linking education and "the box" of convention to contortionism. Lots of stuff there.

  5. Unbelievable! (Ouch.)

    Hope your meeting went well (maybe make the box a little bigger to accommodate better ideas).

  6. Very well written.
    A great experience and yes, it sure was too good not to share.
    It was a poem worth reading. Sara has described it well as a twisty poem.
    Even I have written a poem. Tell me, have you ever felt grateful to your teachers. Well, if you haven't, I sure have.
    Read this...

  7. Holy cow! Cannot even believe this.

    Right now, I am feeling like all I do is try to get kids to contort themselves to fit into other people's boxes.

  8. Oh my... first of all, I got a bit nauseous watching this... I can't even bend over to tie my shoe without my back cracking.

    Then I thought about all the boxes we get stuck in and who designed them. When we get in we always ask, "Who the h... made me get in here?" and I'm with Carol, are we making our kids conform way too much?

    Thanks for sharing. I hope our "out of the box" thinking can permeate the boxes that are "clearly" being formed around us!

    Oh... darn... my shoes untied!

  9. Update on the meeting: not too much out of the box thinking happened. It seemed to me that we spent most of our day admiring the box.

    Yes, Carol and Patrick, yes. All those boxes. The ones for the teachers. The ones for the students. The ones for the profession. Little boxes.

  10. Mary Lee, Thank you for this honest post. Wish we could sit down over tea (wine?) to talk about it. Balancing the needed boxes with wanting to smash certain boxes seems to be the order of the day... A.

  11. Mary Lee,
    I believe someone has placed a large heavy object on top of my box and I cannot seem to get out. I think it was intentional. Apparently, all of the out of the box thinking can cause some problems in the real world.

    As usual I loved your poem. Very thoughtful --- and so on the mark. Often we wonder how we got into the box in the first place and aren't even sure how to begin to get out.

    The comments are thought provoking as well. Carol has me hoping I do not ever put my students inside boxes though I'm sure it happens. Patrick reminds us that sometimes other people put us in boxes we cannot get out of with ease. Karen is right, there is much freedom OUTSIDE the box.


  12. Wrote a response to your piece today on my blog. Thanks (for the millionth time) for pushing my thinking.

  13. Mary Lee,
    Don't give up. Keep pushing the boundaries. Live on the edge. Believe in the potential. Dream.

  14. By being out of the box,
    I am in my own box.
    A lovely box,
    an admirable box,
    but nevertheless,
    I am by myself
    I am lonely,

    Is that why we welcome
    the 'new' box?

    This box is
    or so we think
    the better box.

    We jump in
    bring our kids,
    when we look out of the box
    the box is so jammed with stuff
    the box
    is no longer transparent
    we can't see
    we can't get out

    to make our own outside of the box,


    I invite others into my box
    others who
    push me to think
    bigger, harder, smarter
    like you Mary Lee!

    Thank you MLH for your lovely metaphor and inspiring poem.

  15. Love your poem, Mary Lee! I think it's good to remember that the box isn't bad. For kids learning to write, the box is a safe place, a place where they can feel comfortable and know they're "getting it right." And THEN they can take risks and think outside the box. Sometimes I think we try to ditch the box too much, too fast. The box isn't inherently bad, imo. Hope your meeting was great!


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