Saturday, May 21, 2016

Why "Teachers Write" Is So Important To Me

Every year since it began, I've joined Kate Messner for Teachers Write.  I do this for several reasons. First, I have the opportunity to write for me. Second, I have the opportunity to be led and guided my many of my favorite authors. Each of them have so many different styles and things to teach us. Most importantly for me, is that I learn so much to take back to the classroom to teach and encourage my own students on their writing journey. I have always hoped I was getting through.

Yesterday, ended my school year for me. I am having double knee surgery on Monday. This meant turning my classroom over to a sub for the last three and a half weeks of school. I've been trying to prepare my students, and myself, for the last month. I cry every year when they leave my classroom for the last time. Friday was an emotional roller coaster as I had former students coming and going as well as my sixth graders all day. But I have one student who is very quiet and has always had a beautiful writing style. She above all my students touched my heart in a way no other student every has. Below is her gift to me.  This is why I will always participate and encourage other to join Teachers Write.

A Poem for Mrs. Stiles
One day I walked
into a room
labeled Language Arts
where I could learn
how to put pencil to paper
and unleash the magic.
The magic that waits
beneath the white,
so my messy scrawl
could burn through
the snow-colored shield.
The little candle
in my pencil
could melt through the paper.
And the worlds I’ve gone to
through thin black crevices
in the pages of books
are extraordinary.
And I loved Language Arts
through the first school.
Elementary school.
And it was almost as great
as the library
where I could travel through
little black lines
in otherwise blank walls,
into worlds of magic.
For those years
my candle burned
in the same little room

in the same little school.
A new, bigger school
where I could see the sky
through patches of blue
in the hallway.
In middle school 
where I headed
to Language Arts
my heart in my throat
because my teacher would be
an author,
who had wildfires in her pencil,
and knew how to
burn through the paper
and create portals
to other worlds,
where anything was possible.
And I only had my candle.
She welcomed us
I liked her
in moments.
I was glad
she was the one chose
to show us how to burn through
with flaming pencils.
Mrs. Stiles
I look forward all day
to Language Arts
where anything
is possible.
And we can write

About spinning torrents of wind
and flames unquenchable.
Neat, orderly writing
Or wild, imagined tall tales.
with rhyming sequences
and corresponding syllables.
Or free
like an eagle
flying into the flaming sunset.
You helped my candle
grow into a flame
dancing on a torch.
You’ve been a great teacher,
Thank you for showing me
how to put pencil to paper
and unleash the magic.
The magic that waits
beneath the white.
Now my messy scrawl
can burn through
the snow-colored shield.
Thank you.
I’ll see you next year.
and good luck.

Madison B.


  1. It must be so nice to know you're hard work is appreciated.