Thursday, July 11, 2013

A Different Kind of Fishing

Michelle at Today's Little Ditty is hosting Poetry Friday this week.  Michelle shares a poem today about breaking bad habits, but I don't think anyone wants to break the good habit of Poetry Friday, unless they're on the beach, or in the mountains, or ?   Thanks Michelle!

Some days I want to write children's poetry, and on other days, I want to write about children.  I've been a teacher too many years not to have kept numerous ones close to my heart.  David L. Harrison's blog posts a word of the month to write from, and it's great fun to see such a variety of poems from one word.  A couple of months ago the word was "fishing", and here's what came into my notebook.  Before you read, is your brain already thinking about that word?  Do you have a story 'hooking' you?  



                  Each Day

Each day, this student hangs around my desk,
holding a journal - waiting.
She wants a talk
about her writing, and often
about life, too.
friends,
enemies,
parents,
clothes,
books
Facebook.
She fishes for answers.

Some days, she sits in my chair when
I’m off to talk with other students,
pretending that she’s me,
imagining my surprise when
I return to find my seat already taken.
I say, “Oh my, there’s already a teacher here!”
and “Guess I’ll need to find another classroom!”
She giggles, says, “Oh, Linda, it’s just me!”
I sit with her, reading her words,
responding to the craft of a line,
the word choices at the beginning,
the satisfying ending.

I listen to her, too,
about friends, enemies, parents, clothes, books, Facebook…
Her words rush, the words no one else will acknowledge.
She fishes for my attention,
looking for compliments
and answers.

Although each day,
she hooks my time,
sometimes there is no fish that stays
on the line.
I can see it in her eyes;
she comes up empty.
         ©Linda Baie, 2013 All Rights Reserved
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       I also want to tell that I'm so excited to be visiting Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's blogSharing Our Notebooks so I can share how I've used notebooks both personally and in the classroom.  She's had many guests on this notebook blog, and I've enjoyed hearing about their love affair with writers' notebooks.  This time I get to share!  Please come visit!  

photo credit: Rich Anderson via photopin cc

35 comments:

  1. There's something so special about the ones that hang around our desk, don't you think, the ones who so desperately want to make a connection, to be looked in the eye and listened to. These are the ones who stay in my heart - perhaps because they have had the patience to fish. That line may come up empty from time to time, but they were after a different type of catch, and how fortunate that you understood.

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    1. I love that you totally understand it. There are one or two each year and I try to problem solve from all angles, and sometimes it helps, sometimes not. Thanks Tara-I just commented on your post!

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  2. Your are this student's lifeline, Linda. She's lucky you're the kind of person who is patient enough to help her with all of these things day after day.

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    1. Thanks Stacey. There are those students who have such a need as this, aren't there?

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  3. Fish and fishing seems to be a recurrent theme in quite a few of the PF offerings this week! I love your unexpected take on this theme, Linda. And even more, I love the fact that, like all the best teachers, you are there for this student. You give her what she needs when you can, and are, no doubt, making a profound impact.

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm working my way through everyone's offerings, so now I'm very interested in other 'fishing' shares. And as for the student, or those like her, there are always several who need extra TLC, and they stay with us for a long while after moving to other classrooms.

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  4. A touching poem, Linda. I'm glad that you took "fishing" off in an unexpected direction.

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    1. Thanks Tabatha. We sometimes are surprised where words take us.

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  5. This is a wonderful teacher's teacher poem, Linda. Are you considering a collection of teacher poems? This one makes me wish to be your student. I adore the image of her in your seat, pretending to be you. a.

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    1. Just a I wrote in the intro, I work to write poems for children, but sometimes it does turn, and I find I'm writing 'about' children. Thanks for the idea, Amy!

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  6. Linda, this gave me such a beautiful picture of what a good listener you are -- not just to students' words, but also to their body language, the things they aren't saying.

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    1. Thanks Laura. Teachers observe, and watch, and look, then 'see'! Just like parents, right? I've talked about this with those interns with whom I've worked. It's so important in the relationships.

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  7. Wow, Linda! You gave me goosebumps! What a blessing for this child and all the children you teach to have such a skilled "angler" helping them navigate life. =)

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    1. Unfortunately, I am aware and do try, but as the poem shows, the student's needs till aren't always met. It's so tough in early adolescence! Thank you Bridget!

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  8. Lovely poem Linda! I can imagine that you have had many students like that. I love the part about her being in your chair. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thanks Max. I think we've all had a few, haven't we?

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  9. I was right there with you. Can I hang out by your desk? I also have a student who loves to sit in my chair. If she weren't so charming and precious, I may get irritated, but like you, I just make a joke.
    You should stop back in to see all the comments on my blog today. You are well loved!

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    1. Thank you Margaret, and again for your sweet words on your post! It's been a nice day of feeling good!

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  10. I read this post and then went over to your post about your notebooks. You shared your flower poem and how it took you a long time to get to what you wanted. For today's poem the word "fishing" was the inspiration. It is just fascinating how words, images, and experiences work their magic into a poem. Yet I know that it is not magic but your deliberate work that forms the beautiful pieces of writing. I enjoyed reading both poems and posts today.

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    1. Thanks for reading all, Terje, and for the thoughts. This is what we want our students to understand too, isn't it?

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  11. Linda,
    This is a very moving poem for me. I've know those kids that really need attention. Thank you for writing this.

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    1. Thanks Joy-they do need all we can give!

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  12. I was totally surprised by your take on fishing- was expecting a totally different kind of fishing when I read your first line. And yet this is so rich-- you really do paint a gorgeous word picture of this little gal sitting in your chair, hungry for you to take her bait! Some (most?) days it kind of takes my breath away how many kids need/want attention/kindness/a little loving!

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    1. Even when we expect it least, they do need the TLC, I know. Thanks Carol.

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  13. Yay for you on visiting Sharing our Notebooks. I will check it out! I love your spin on fishing here. You were right, as soon as I saw the word I began thinking about my own versions. Neat idea.

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    1. Thanks Betsy-am at the airport now picking up family who are late-will look for you later!

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  14. You never know how much of an impact you make simply by taking the time to be present for your students! Thank you for sharing this tender reflection!

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    1. You're welcome, Keri. It was interesting that the word brought out this story.

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  15. This poem rings so true, right down to the part (if I'm reading it correctly) where you have run out of time/patience/response that fulfills her need...and she comes up empty (never mind how much you have given, given, given, given). Your poem is a good reminder to be gentle with the needy ones, the ones with "the words no one else will acknowledge."

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    1. Yes, you're right, Mary Lee. One does continue to 'be' with those students, yet often it doesn't fill all their needs, especially the social ones. Thank you!

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  16. I love that she hangs around your desk with a journal!

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  17. Such a lovely poem - that young girl is so lucky to have you supporting her and making writing so safe. I'm so glad you shared it.

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    1. Thank you, Beverley. I appreciate your words.

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