Poetry in motion

I really ought to do this more often.

Recently, I spent a couple hours with Sarah Rose Thomas and her students at Coleman (Wisconsin) High School, about 40 miles north of Green Bay, and it was one of those afternoons that reminds me so much why I love working with educators and students.

Sarah’s classroom was filled with students who want to learn and a teacher uniquely skilled to teach them the subject matter that she so loves: poetry. At one point, preparing to read a poem to her students, she confessed that she cried the last time she read it. It’s personal, and it’s powerful.

The students, too, talked about how poems – those they read as well as those they write – sometime deeply affect them, including a student who turned to poetry after her grandfather passed away.

I was so glad I brought along my handheld digital video camera, as Sarah and her students were more than willing to talk about a subject that means so much to them: their love of poetry. And I am so glad that today we are able to readily tell these stories in online video that can be watched by people anywhere any time.

Videos such as this provide a visual glimpse into what happens thousands of times over in public school classrooms throughout our state, and does it in a way that people can see … and feel … and experience.

Incredible teachers like Sarah are connecting with students and making huge impacts on their lives. Students are giving back to the teacher and to each other, as these classrooms become communities of learning, sharing and growing. See for yourself:

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