Note: The videos included in this post contain language which may be sensitive to viewers.
As I enter my internship in the Fall, I find myself reflecting on which subjects and areas I am most comfortable with and which I have not had a considerable amount of experience teaching. One of the subject that I have had not had the chance to teach in any of my previous field experiences is English Language Arts. During my internship, I hope to have the opportunity to teach a unit involving poetry to expand the students’ views on what poetry might be.
Many people view poetry as nothing but fluffy love notes, but I feel there is so much more to the spoken word. One of the most notable examples would be Shane Koyczan‘s To This Day. To This Day is a chilling personal account of Koyczan’s history and views on bullying. As of the writing of this post, the original animated video for the poem has been viewed over 9 million times. Koyczan was also featured as a keynote speaker at the TED Conference:
After reading a post by my good friend, Jayde McFee, I can see the in-classroom application that poetry can have. When she presented To This Day to her Grade 8 class, a very emotional conversation followed. Being able to approach sensitive issues, such as bullying, through spoken word allows for the message to be delivered in a powerful way.
Another poem about bullying which is a personal favourite of mine is by Panama Soweto, which I presented to my class earlier this year. It is a riveting poem which identifies with how it feels to be the kid at the back of class who is always picked on.
I look forward to having experiences like this within my own classroom in the future.