While certainly not always a bed of roses, teaching English as a second language can have sublime moments. These can range from a delightful moment of understanding during a lesson, to seeing your students use English of their own volition. One of my favorite activities is reading students’ original compostitions. Not only does it let me gauge their grasp on grammar concepts, it is an opportunity to see their personalities shine through, and understand a little of how they are feeling. Sometimes errors in syntax are downright hilarious, but I especially enjoy learning about my students’ states of mind.
I was most recently reminded of this after reading my eighth grade classes’ original poems. Among the laugh out loud comedy of some of their work, I was more often struck by the truth of their sentiments. The mixture of their childlike wonder and budding adult mentalities was sweet and moving. My students have asked me why I wanted to be an English teacher. Perhaps some of you are wondering it too, and I know there are days when those of us here dejectedly ponder this very question. So I am writing this now to remind myself on a day such as that, why things like this make everything worthwhile.
The students were given this very basic outline: write a topic and some words about how it makes you feel. The results were wonderful. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Who hasn’t marveled at the parallelism of “earth as it is in heaven”? Or taken joy in the brilliance of fireworks:
Or felt the effect of weather on one’s mood:
My personal favorite, on the drudgery of daily life:
On a happier food note:
Have you ever had fried chicken so good you wanted to write a poem about it? Heck yes I have!
A practical student, she finds contentment in the act of commerce:
While others have larger monetary aspiriations:
A call to self-reflection:
The beauty of space:
Hope for tomorrow:
In my imagination, I see these poems alongside poignant illustrations, a la Shel Silverstein books. Unfortunately, I lack the artistic skill to depict what I envision, but I created some meager power point images to bring their writing to life. Perhaps one day I will do them justice…Why don’t you send us your take on these delightful poems and we’ll put up on our tumblr and here!