Thursday, 13 July 2017

UPDATED: This post is now 100% Mac & Cheesier.

It’s Poetry Friday and I’m just back from the NerdCamp education conference in Michigan.

I’m still unpacking — literally and figuratively. The speeches, sessions, panels of authors and educators, and working with students at NerdCamp Junior were inspiring. But I learned just as much during impromptu conversations with fellow NerdCampers who are passionate about reading and literacy.

Today, I’d like to share a poem by Chad Everett, who was one of the opening session speakers. You can find out more about Chad at his website ImagineLit. This was written and shared on Day 2 of NerdCamp.

Waiting for Superman

They gave me a contract, not a cape,
Truth is I’m not that great.

There is no brilliance in my lesson plans or my Flair pens,
But an abundance of brilliance exists in the young women and men who sit before me.

The young women and men not striving to Make America Great Again,
But those that curiously question if it ever was and remind us that true greatness does not come from outside, but from within.

No one asked you to put on a cape.
They asked you teach.

Read the rest at Chad Everett’s website.

I can’t leave without acknowledging that today is a holiday: National Mac & Cheese Day! Here’s a kinetic, concrete Mac & Cheese poem, created by a student.

Concrete Mac & Cheese poem from the Northfield ES third grade.

This week’s Poetry Friday link-up is hosted by Tabatha Yeatts. Stop by her blog, The Opposite of Indifference, for poetry book reviews, original poems, and poetry news from across the kidlitosphere.

15 responses to “Poetry Friday: A Poem from NerdCamp”

  1. Appreciations for this intro to a fellow teacher-poet, Laura.
    Much to ponder here . . .

  2. Mary Lee Hahn says:

    It’s good to be humble, but there are some days when it takes a cape. Just sayin’…

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I hear what you’re saying, Mary Lee. There are days when the resources (internal and external) feel thin and it takes a boost of superhuman strength.

  3. Tabatha says:

    Was this poem inspired by the documentary “Waiting for Superman”? (Did y’all see that there?) Mr. Everett sounds like a respectful teacher.

    • Laura Shovan says:

      I haven’t seen it, but thanks for the recommendation. Yes, I think the title of this piece must be a nod to that documentary.

  4. Tara says:

    Chad sounds like a brilliant speaker – but I’m also with Mary Lee, in that a cape every once in a while is much appreciated.

  5. NerdCamp sounds wonderful–quite a few Michigan authors who are pals attended. Maybe next year…

  6. Wow! I really enjoyed Chad’s poem. I would love to share that at the beginning of my school year with new staff. Our school focus this year is writing. I think this poem invites response….and this is a perfect kick-off!

  7. Thanks for sharing this beautiful, heartfelt poem from Chad Laura–let’s quiet the din and get down to what’s important!

    Fun concrete poem too, the kids must have had fun creating it, thanks for all!

  8. Ugh, I have been reading so many amazing things about Nerd Camp, why must it be so far away?!?!

    And I love the idea of concrete poems, such a fun way to bring poetry outside the box.

  9. Sounds like this camp is right up your alley, Laura!
    Thanks for sharing, and thanks for topping it off with that big, noodly poem – :0)

  10. So glad you got to go and be a nerd, Laura–worth the travel! Chad’s poem is a fresh reminder that a) we must think first of the children’s needs, not the adults’ and b) the future belongs to them. How cool that you had a macaroni & cheese poem in your vault!

  11. Such a thoughtful and provocative poem from Chad. Back when I was teaching, there were days I wanted a cape or a magic wand.

  12. Diane Mayr says:

    Re: the film “Waiting for Superman.” I’d be interested in hearing what you think of it after you’ve seen it. I’m not sure I had the same reaction as others did. Or maybe I’m remembering it completely wrong.

    I love the idea of a kinetic poem. The possibilities! (I’m thinking ginormous!)

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Laura Shovan

Laura Shovan is the author of the award-winning middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary. Her second book, Takedown, is a Junior Library Guild and PJ Our Way selection. Look for A Place at the Table, co-written with Saadia Faruqi, in 2020. Laura is a poet-in-the-schools Maryland.

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