Thursday, November 19, 2020

Poetry Friday -- Messages From the Universe

 This morning, between this page (which I've already seen) in my Everyday Offerings book...

...and this page (which I've already seen)...

I found this new message for the day:

And I flipped over the next card in my meditation deck...

I looked up, and the vase of flowers on my table said this:

Wednesday night, listening to the Scholastic Independent Reading Panel, I heard Peter H. Reynolds say this:

a gentle rebel
leans outside the box
as far as they can

(without being fired)

Earlier on Wednesday, one of my students shot an observation straight into my heart: "This is so hard. This way of learning." What she was missing the most were the times of collaboration and conversation students have while working side by side in a physical classroom. Our remote learning independent work times are solitary, and my learners have been isolated during these work times.

The words of Peter H. Reynolds nudged me to reconsider our daily schedule. Could I make time for my students to virtually sit side by side, working together, helping each other (and certainly chatting a bit)? 

Yes. And when I previewed our new schedule with the class, they were SO appreciative that I'd listened and responded. 

The Scholastic Independent Reading Panel speakers helped me to reimagine my daily message to my students about their 30 minute independent reading time:
  • How are the books you’re choosing helping you to become the person you want to be?
  • How are the books you’re choosing helping you to understand the lives and feelings of others?
  • How are the books you’re reading bringing you joy?
  • How are the books you’re reading helping you to understand your own identity?
  • How are the books you’re reading helping you to understand the way the world works so that you can make it a better place for everyone?
And those first messages in my Everyday Offerings book? They have helped me lean further out of my box than I ever thought possible as I plan for a study of what happens in a democracy AFTER an election. About the work regular citizens do to keep our nation running.

we make some noise
we split open and sparkle
then put the pieces together
become a magnet for miracles
and bloom with wild abandon

Thank you, Universe.

Happy Friday, friends! Happy Poetry Friday!

Linda B. has graciously rescued this week's Poetry Friday roundup at TeacherDance. 2020 strikes again!


  1. This is terrific, Mary Lee. I love "seeing" and "reading" your path, & the students' excited response. My older granddaughter (6th) has been doing group projects online or just pairs, for a while. The 3rd grader has not, was in school for only a week a few weeks ago & is so sad she had to leave again. She does miss exactly what you wrote: "the times of collaboration and conversation". You are super teacher (& poet)!

  2. Ooh, nice. Have a good weekend!

  3. We are humans, and crave interaction/involvement with each other… Yay for you and your fortunate students–keep on leaning "outside the box
    as far as" you "can!"

  4. I love, love, love the questions from the Scholastic Reading Panel. I'm putting my slide deck for today right now and am planning a time for them to choose independent reading materials for next week's vacation. I'm going to preface it with these questions! And I love the wisdom the universe handed to you this morning. Miss you, my friend!

  5. I love your poem that you fashioned out of found bits from treasured sources. Lovely! And yes. Continued strength and energy as you support kids in this very hard way of learning (and teaching!). <3

  6. Pure inspiration today, Mary Lee - thank you for all these gems and for your dogged determination to make. things. better. - in your own heart, your classroom, our country, and the world. XO

  7. Mary Lee, the Scholastic Panel provided a great lead in to change up the independent reading time. Students need to collaborate so let us know the results of your new venture. Thanks for the morning message/poem. It's wonderful.

  8. You are such an inspiration, Mary Lee. Love this post!!

  9. Love how you combined all these messages and images, Mary Lee. You are the glue--sticking to your intuition, putting the pieces together, holding strong. You are a gifted observer. Thank you.

  10. The universe speaks to us all the time, but you took the time to listen.

  11. It takes a wise woman to connect all the universal dots. You are a wise woman, Mary Lee. Love your words, "bloom with wild abandon". Yes! :)

  12. Mary Lee - just stunning, that Everyday Offerings book (gotta love the cricket for sounds), and all those images you wove so beautifully into your own poem of gratitude to the universe. It is giving us gifts, all the time. Like this post.


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