Yesterday was our 2nd Grade Poetry Slam! I love inviting parents into my classroom when students are presenting their work. Leading up to an event, I usually get nervous. Are the kids prepared? Does my classroom look neat? Will the parents be happy with the learning the kids are doing? What should I wear to make a good impression?
To get ready, the kids practiced reading their poems to each other and to the team. Classmates gave feedback such as “try slowing down” and “read a little louder.” When students rehearsed in front of the class I could clearly see how proud they were of each other! We moved furniture to create perfect viewing areas. The kids were bursting with excitement.
Through the window in the door, I could see parents waiting in the hallway. I was surprised they were waiting to be invited in, but it gave us an extra few minutes to practice. We were finally ready. I gave the thumbs up.
Two students opened the door and greeted the parents. They handed a small brochure that listed the students’ names and the title of the poem they would present. Parents, grandparents, brothers, and sisters filed into the room. The first row of chairs filled up. Then the second row. More people walked in the door and soon we were out of chairs!
As I moved to the center of the room to welcome everyone, I was not nervous at all. Instead I was overcome with pride and joy. There were about 25 adults in the room all waiting to hear from the 18 second graders. Cameras flashed and the first poet sat on the stool. I put a copy of her poem under the document camera to show off her illustration as she read the lines.
There were giggles, belly laughs, and thunderous applause from the audience as all of the students proudly read their work. I was so moved by the enthusiasm and support of all these family members that literally filled our classroom. It was a moment that inspired me. All of the work my students and I are doing really matters. I’m so proud!