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Teacher to Teacher: Welcome to Poetry Month!

By Janice Ewing

As we ease into April, also known as “Poetry Month,” we are thrilled to welcome a pair of poetry ambassadors to our blog – Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger. This duo has been writing and performing poetry around the world for many years, as well as inspiring others to find their own identities as poets. In our Teacher-to-Teacher spot this month, Sara and Michael dispel some common misconceptions about poetry, and then go on to make a convincing case for how it fits into and enriches any curriculum. We hope you enjoy this ‘visit’ with Sara and Michael, and we invite you to share your connections to this post, as well as your experiences with reading/listening to, writing, and teaching poetry.

Why Poetry?
by Sara Holbrook and Michael Salinger

The list of arguments not to teach poetry writing is long.

Confusing. Not rigorous enough. Not for the boys. Not aligned to the standards. Not non-fiction. And, what can I put in that grade book yawning open on the desktop? Is it fair to put a grade on kids’ feelings?

The list of reasons to lock poetry up in permanent confinement in those dangling weeks in the spring after everything else is done is even longer. School has requirements after all, assessments to be recorded, evaluations to be made. What does poetry have to do with 21st century literacy? Read more