Friday, July 8, 2011


For more than a decade, I have been a literacy coach, assistant principal, or district curriculum specialist. This year, I will be teaching fourth grade. I'm really excited about having my own classroom, but also more than a little nervous. Do I still remember how to set up a classroom? Can I keep track of all of the details teachers have to remember? Do I still know how to teach math?

Poetry Friday is one ritual I know we are going to have. I have lots of great poetry books (not to mention files and files and files of loose poetry!) but I'm always on the lookout for more. This week at Tattered Cover (Denver's independent bookstore), I found a book that's new to me.

WEIRD? ME TOO! LET'S BE FRIENDS is a collection of poems about friendship. There are poems about making friends, sharing ice cream, fighting, and making up. There are lots of poems for two voices and even one for four. And on many of the pages, Sara has kind of a "conversation" with kids, leaving a line or two of suggestion about a poem they might want to try.

The poem I chose for today is not the most "kid-dish" poem in the book. It's probably not even the first one I would share with kids. I just loved this poem because it kind of captures what some folks have done for me in this time of transition.

Walking On
the Boundaries of Change
Sara Holbrook

Day by day
a tightrope,
walking on the boundaries
of change.
One step--
firm, familiar.
The next step--
shaky, strange.

Some friends will
mock or push each step.
Some friends
knock your confidence.

Real friends
form a net.

Elaine, at Wild Rose Reader, is hosting Poetry Friday today.


Looking for the Write Words said...

Hi Carol,
I am not familiar with this collection, but will be looking around for a copy. I love the poem that you selected and will be sharing it with my daughter who will have her first teaching job this school year. I too teach 4th and love the enthusiasm of the age group.

Mary Lee said...

Here's another cheer for 4th grade! And here are some strands for your net: you know that building community is the most important thing to do in the first days (and all year long), you know the workshop model and the gradual release of responsibility model, you laugh often and love deeply. You have NOTHING to worry about. Not even fractions.

Libby Frankel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libby Frankel said...


This poem is applicable to my life, too! I am transitioning from the classroom back into the role as literacy coach. Good luck on your new adventure. I'm sure your "net" is wide!