Sunday, April 01, 2012

Collaboration - a teaching poem, a learning poem


Teaching is collaboration,
Not an act in isolation.

Empty vessels don't exist,
Learners' efforts must persist.

Nothing's easy the first time,
But "Oh! I get it!" feels sublime.

Both of us must take a turn.
Two must try for one to learn.

© Mary Lee Hahn, 2012

Poem #1, National Poetry Month 2012

My student N. was so taken by the way the Madness! 2012 poetry tournament worked that she started asking me for words to use as prompts for her own poems. (Franki tells me the same is true of her middle schooler.)

I gave N. a couple of words, but then realized that she needed a self-sustaining strategy for giving HERSELF a challenge. So I told her about Amy LV's Dictionary Hike, and together we went to the dictionary to get ourselves some words. She got TIRE, and I got COLLABORATION. And so begins National Poetry Month 2012!

Cathy, at Merely Day By Day, is joining me in a poem a day this month.

*     *     *     *     *     *

An addendum. Seems to fit with the poem in a Calvin and Hobbes sort of way...


  1. You picked a perfect word for you, and you nailed it. Love those last two lines. I hope to hear how N. used her word - noun or verb? My daughter got GLIMPSE, and I got ANCIENT. See you in the dictionary! a.

  2. Ah and so the month begins... with your glorious words. Love the theme of this poem and the perfect words you have chosen.

  3. Glad you started with this one. Such smart advice.

  4. LOVE that final line!

    1. I was pretty proud of that line! Thanks for noticing it!!

  5. I'm with Laura. I love the whole poem really love that last line. I am so trying NOT to get hooked into the dictionary hike this year. Later. On an off month. But I'll be watching to see how your journey goes.

  6. Maybe I'll try the dictionary hike once in a while, but I'm going to go with my own flow this time, trying some different structures I've seen on the slice of life challenge and on Poetry Friday. It's so exciting to see what you & everyone else is doing, Mary Lee. Your poem is so concise, just right! I too love the way you wrapped it up so nicely.

    1. Susan and Linda,
      I am so NOT going to stick with the dictionary hike all month. That is just ONE way for me to get ideas! I had quite enough of being stuck with a word during Madness! 2012. I also like to write from my photos and just from whatever seems to need to be written about at the moment!


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