This article was first published in the blog dirt & noise on March 22, 2011. Miss White recently reposted it on Facebook. Ilina Ewen’s blog often spotlights great teaching and learning experiences.
There’s a rattan trunk at the foot of our bed that is crammed full of memories. I opened it up after many, many years to take a peek inside. I found lots of goodies I’m savoring and saving for a future post. One of the things I spread out before me was a folder from a college poetry writing class. Mac Daddy was shocked, never having known I wrote poetry beyond the rhyming treacly middle school boy crazy flowery lines that spoke to unrequited love and hopes of true love. I read my poems to myself at first, feeling ever so apprehensive about letting Pandora Ilina out of her circa 1990 box. I read a couple lines to Mac Daddy, who snickered and grinned in a you-better-stick-to-blogging-and-getting-your-book-written way.
As I read my poems I thought about a third grade class at Bird and Deal’s school. Together, they crafted lines of verse to read in the school talent show. They read in groups, duets, solo, and as a whole. Every word their own. I was moved hearing these kids demonstrate wisdom in small ways. Their words had a certain poignancy and poetry about them. While they wrote the lines to be read aloud in a performance, I think they resonate just as sharply when read as a poem. With permission from their fantastic teacher, Miss White, I’ve posted their words below.
We are Miss W’s Class.
We are a good team.
We are all different.
We are all friends.
We are a little bit strange.
We have great imaginations.
We go to school.
We like to play a lot.
We like to read books.
We have problems with friends.
We like music.
And we are super cool.
Sometimes I wish I had long hair.
Sometimes I wish I could perform spells.
That I could see Santa Claus.
That we could play together more.
Sometimes I wish that I will get a scholarship in math when I grow up.
Sometimes I wish that I could fly.
That I knew cursive.
That I didn’t have to go to school.
Sometimes I wish that everyone liked everyone.
Sometimes I wish that we were in charge.
That frustration never existed.
That people wouldn’t die.
I don’t like when my brother gets angry with me.
I don’t like Carolina.
Cleaning my room.
Anything that’s chocolate.
Or when my sister throws a tantrum.
I don’t get sick very often.
I don’t know how to spell my middle name.
I don’t want to live by myself.
I don’t have any complaints.
I wonder how the clouds are made.
How books were invented.
How the world began.
How far away the moon is EXACTLY.
I wonder about what I will do when I grow up.
I wonder if I could breathe in space.
If you can have 1,000 friends.
If I could read 50 books in a day.
I wonder who is out there that needs a friend.
I wish my parents knew how much I hate homework.
And that I want to travel around the world.
And how much I want a dog!
I wish they knew all the rules to soccer.I wish my parents knew I sneak things a lot.
And that I don’t like to sing at church.
I wish my parents knew all the math I have to do.
I wish my parents knew what the future looks like.
And how much I like third grade.
I wish my parents knew how cool they are.
I will always be there for my friends.
I will work my best.
I will be good in soccer.
And ride my bike every day.
And have fun!
I will eat more healthy food and less junk!
I will paint lots of pictures in my life.
Pay attention more.
And try my best at everything.
I will invent something some day.
Be a fashion designer someday.
Be a teacher someday.
Try to help people as much as possible.
I will always love Christmas.
I will be a very good person in life.
I will go to college.
I am nine.
I am eight.
I am a girl.
I am a boy.
I am a person.
Created by Miss W’s 3rd Grade Class, 2011
So tell me, do you see a glimmer of your third grade self in there? I do. I even see a snapshot of my 42 year old self.