Haiku #7

As an alternative means of capturing my thoughts and reflections, I’ve been writing haiku about my teaching practice. This is the seventh post in the series.

A few years ago I was at a book fair and learned about blackout poetry. It’s a form of poetry where the poet takes an article or other piece of writing and removes — or blacks out — a bunch of its text. The words that remain after all of the crossing out is the resulting “blackout poem.”

I’ve never written blackout poetry, but I find the idea fascinating and want to create some not using newspaper or magazine articles, but my blogposts. Since I’ve been into haiku for awhile, why not double up and make my first few blackout poems haiku? My blog, my rules!

To play off the syllabic structure of haiku (5-7-5), in the coming weeks I will attempt to write three “blackout haiku” using my 5th, 12th (5+7), and 17th (5+7+5) blog posts. This post features my 5th blog post, which I published on September 14, 2014. It details a classroom economy that I have long since abandoned, but still think is pretty interesting. Here is my blackout of the post:

My resulting “blackout” haiku:

find the little things
earn love, tally how much sums
no tax to mimic

I really appreciated the process, but subtracting that much text to get down to 17 syllables was surprisingly hard. You would think that you would have so much to choose from that’d it be easy! No, no, no. There was lots of combing through, counting, simplifying my ideas, and then recounting. Despite the challenge, the simplicity and structure of haiku is why I’m drawn to it, so I guess that’s why I getting rid of so much text. Food for thought: I was conflicted on whether I wanted the poem to reflect a compact version of the original blogpost or be something independent, which is what it turned out to be. It would have been interesting to go the other route.


bp

Haiku #6

As an alternative means of capturing my thoughts and reflections, I’ve been writing Haiku about my teaching practice. This is the sixth post in the series.

Teaching and learning have both been upended in recent weeks and, while I am energized by change, I’m still searching for ways to process this one. Our new normal has arrived with no mercy for what we took for granted. Who would have thought I would miss my trapezoidal desks and the fight my SmartBoard always seemed to give me. I miss making copies and catching up with colleagues who I never see around the building. I miss the building. Maybe it misses us too.

School reborn on screen
Empty classrooms left confused
Where are the humans?

 

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Haiku #5

As an alternative means of capturing my thoughts and reflections, I’ve been writing Haiku about my teaching practice. This is the fifth post in the series.

As my teaching has slowed through the years, I’ve been paying more attention to the furious pace with which new teachers experience their students, their pedagogy, and their practice. My awareness of these early-career teachers has matured a lot lately. And maybe I’m just getting old and doing what old people do, but I am feeling more responsible for these teachers these days — even those of whom I don’t work with directly. I love listening to them.

I had a recent conversation with a first-year teacher that struck me for a lot of reasons. It inspired this Haiku.

Teaching, you’re new here

A place where a week feels like

A lost lonely year

 

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Haiku #4

As an alternative means of capturing my thoughts and reflections, I’ve been writing Haiku about my teaching practice. This is the fourth post in the series.

As my career has matured through the years, I have learned to embrace my summer more and more. These two months represent precious reflection time for me. For this reason, I outwardly defend my summer. I purposely stay away from any sort of teaching environment; I can’t genuinely reflect if I’m still in the game, making decisions, and in the flow.

Outside of the personal benefits, this time away from the classroom allows me to pause my teaching and check in with myself. This summer is no different. My thoughts about my teaching have been plentiful and will surely evolve and change over the next several weeks. But before they do, I wanted to gather some recent, and important, reflections with this Haiku.

Letters to know one

Muggy thoughts, discerning sun

Who will we become?

 

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