Last Day of National Poetry Month Post #4

We also offered the opportunity to compose a poetic response to learner choice novels. What a fantastic way to encourage readers to engage with the text! The connections are so much more authentic and impactful than reading a more traditional book report or even book review.

Kerosene Soaked World (SoundCloud) by Rebecca Carroll, a poetic response to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury from the perspective of Guy Montag.

Trauma (SoundCloud) by Emily White and Lupeny Garza, a poetic response to A Soldier’s Secret by Marissa Moss.


Last Day of National Poetry Month Post #3

We were very fortunate to have a visiting Lost Boy from Sudan, Mark Narikan, visit our class. He spoke of events in Sudan and the journey to safety.

Learners were invited to respond to his visit in poetry.

Don’t Get Caught by Rebecca Carroll and Eliza McElroy

Sudan by Brianna Lee and Katrina Fisher

Reflection by Nimisha Jain and Maria Benavides



Last Day of National Poetry Month Post #2

We hosted a Slamming for a Cause event in December 2014. Each group chose an issue from a particular culture region to focus on. They wanted to call their audience to action.

New Tech High @ Coppell (NTH@C) Rookies hosted the event: chose the cause and charity that benefited from the night, competed to perform, contacted sponsors for dontations, held a silent auction, and had a bake sale. The event raised $2,000 for UNICEF and their efforts to end human trafficking.

This piece entitled Welcome by Travis Sadler and Eliza McElroy discussed immigration to the United States from Latin America.

Last Day of National Poetry Month Post #1

It speaks to me, and this is why I will always celebrate this month.

Today, I will share what my learners have worked on throughout the year. My learners are Rookies (freshman to non-NTH@C-savvy folk). They constantly amaze me with their wise-beyond-their-years writing and fresh observations.

Here is a Slam Poetry performance entitled Measuring Change by Kendall Dunn and Amulya Pilla. It discusses the issue of Homelessness in Southeast Asia.


Happy National Day on Writing #WriteMyCommunity

I am an author.
So are you.
Or at the very least, you have it in you.
You have it in you to create, compose, craft.

Think about it.
You have power.
You have the power.

The power to generate a life you want with characters you choose.
Relationships and conflicts that culminate quickly or unfold at a snail’s pace.
Obstacles: some bigger than others,
But let us not forget some obstacles are smaller than others, too.
It is our choice.

I have power?
No. No. No.
That must be a mistake.
Because I certainly do not feel strong.
At times, I feel the exact opposite:
Weak, timid, feeble-minded.
Ready to hide.
Ready to dismiss myself as a follower not a leader.
Ready to accept and resign.

My back to a wall of busy-ness…
Ultimately, senseless time vacuums.
I stay there asleep but not rested.
I stay there, eyes closed.
Truly blind.

What awesome responsibility!
And with that, it becomes heavy, this gift of making.
A weight pushing us down with thoughts of doubt.
With thoughts of uncertainty.
With thoughts of fear.
What a burden!

But you tell me “I have the power.”
So I must. I will believe you.
But still,
Forgive me if I tentatively, gingerly
Place that silver spoon to my lips
For it burns.
It burns, that power.
It stings and it hurts and it curdles my blood.
Because in the end, it means
Me taking responsibility for what happens in my life.
It means me owning up to my mistakes.
It means me allowing myself to feel triumph and joy.
It means giving myself consent
To celebrate and mourn and hurt and be hurt…
and love and be loved.

Sometimes, granting ourselves the space and time to truly feel is the most difficult.
But I also see the possibility as a true blessing.
I see the unwritten story of my life as opportunity.
A vast buffet of tastings and big plates and cocktails and desserts and desserts again.
At times, the menu may offer a hamburger.
Others, a proper soufflé.
Others, a glass of cool water after an especially hot day.

But do not be surprised that I doubt.
Do not be surprised if I question.
If I plan and think and brainstorm and organize.
If I draft again and again.
If I revise and revise and revise… and revise.

I will consciously defy
Linear plotlines
Formulaic hooks
Predictable endings
Two-dimensional personas.
I will avoid, challenge, and rewrite all of that
Because this is my life.

This is my page.
This is my pen I hold in my hand.
This is my story
That you just happen to cameo in
That you just happen to influence
And brandish and repurpose
But with my permission…
With my permission.

Because I am an author.

I am an author.