In the past few months, I've taken my teaching on the road -- visiting CMSD's Campus International School (CIS), where my kids go to school, and teaching poetry and personal narrative writing; teaching an after-school creative writing program at CIS; and visiting classrooms and meeting with Davey Fellows at University School, my high school alma mater, to read poems from my book How to Live in Ruins and discuss solutions to urban redevelopment and social inequality in Cleveland.
It's been fun to be working with K-12 students again, for a few reasons. First, creative writing programs are the perfect complement to the skills-based education kids are getting all day (though CIS has exemplary art programs) and not all schools can offer them. Second, when kids get into it, they get really into it -- after I taught at lesson in my daughter Emily's class and had the kids write poems based on the children's classic "Bleezer's Ice Cream," they made the above poster for me. (I love the fact that the Y stands for "You create the rules." Some of the comments include "Thank you for teaching us poetry and making us like it" (making?) and "Thank you for the amazing poetry class, it was the best when we made our own poems.") And finally, it's meaningful to see kids get in the zone, especially when we're so distracted and scheduled we often don't have time for deep thinking and learning.
Thanks for the teachers at CIS who helped me and to Jim Garrett at University School. Below are photos from my visit with Davey Fellows.