Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ode to a Curl

your curly friend, Suzanne

It always makes me smile when someone asks, "Why The Curly Classroom?"  The reason is two-fold:
1.  Lori and I both have curly hair.  So profound, I know! 
2.  If you have curly hair, you would probably agree that it is a good comparison to our experiences in the classroom.

  • Curly hair has a mind of it's own.  You can have the best-laid plans, but there is no guarantee it'll work out that way.
  • Thankfully, even on days when we feel our curls are most out of control, a kind stranger compliments their beauty.
Isn't this true in our classrooms?!  Our students have minds of their own.  We have beautiful lesson plans, manipulatives, and read alouds.  However, due to a myriad of outside forces, sometimes our best/only option is to abandon them and roll with the current conditions.

There are days (many days) when we feel defeated- a lesson tanked, scores didn't reflect student and teacher effort, a student was unkind.  I hope that you have good people that walk in our door and marvel over the beauty, purposefulness, and engagement of your lessons when you might not see it.  

To brave the uncertainty of our curly classrooms, we've got to be equipped with new tools for our toolboxes.  That's where we hope our little blog can help.  We are a community of educators committed to growing and challenging ourselves and others in order to help students be successful.

I wrote this poem when I went through Abydos (formerly The New Jersey Writing Project).  We were supposed to "publish" a piece of our work which I never did nor had any intention of doing, but it fits well here today.

By your not-a-poet-and-she-knows-it, I present "Curls".
Tight, brown spirals 
with a mind all their own,
bouncing with each step taken.
My hair has been noteworthy from the start.

Holding bows like a brightly wrapped Christmas gift,
these curls have
taken wobbly steps,
blown in the breeze of a new bike,
and spent countless hours
swinging in the backyard.

On lazy Saturdays, 
these wisps are wild and free.
They are cultivated and pinned neatly
to match the beauty of a prom dress.
Small tendrils gently fall 
to indicate the changing of seasons.
My curly are as much a part of who I am
as any facet of my personality.

They will be held in a ponytail
as boxes are packed and moved,
gripped in the tight fist of a small child, 
and peppered with grey like gently snow.

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