Poetry Friday: What Back to School Night might mean for some of our visiting parents…

Poetry Friday is hosted Diane at Random Noodling
 
 
So, last night we hosted our annual Back to School Night.”
Parents filed into our classrooms and settled in to hear what their kid’s learning life would be like in various classrooms and in our building.  As I waited for parents to arrive and get seated, I couldn’t help but notice their expressions, their body language.  As they settled into their sixth grader’s chair and pulled up to their sixth grader’s desk, did they time travel…as I often do when I attend such nights at my own children’s schools?  Did they remember sweating it out in Algebra class, or losing themselves in a great book in English class?  Did they remember wrestling with grammar or reciting their favorite poem?  It’s funny how some moments from long ago flash by on these evenings – we enter our kid’s sixth grade classroom and there we are – re imagining and perhaps reinventing our own sixth grade year…as some of the parents in my room seemed to be doing.  Which brings me to this marvelous poem about a sixth grade year that I’m hoping my sixth graders do NOT re imagine, when their time comes as a parent on Back to School Night…
 
The Alphabet Conspiracy
By Rita Mae Reese
The word is the making of the world. —Wallace Stevens
It’s a filmstrip afternoon
and we’re all grateful
to the humming projector
in the middle of our desks,
the closed blinds, the absence of a real adult.
There’s a vague promise of revelation
from the title
and the dark, tree-lined streets, the voice
calling from a house
carrying within it our freedom not to answer.
Inside another house, a little girl in a pretty dress
is falling asleep
at her father’s desk, turning into
Alice in Wonderland
as her mind falls down the rabbit holes of grammar.
(you can read the rest of the poem here…)
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7 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: What Back to School Night might mean for some of our visiting parents…

  1. What a poem! Whoa. That's worth re-reading. I have been to 6th grade back-to-school night recently and I can honestly say that my own 6th grade year did not cross my mind! I was too busy wondering how to find the next classroom 😉

  2. My oldest is in 6th grade! Last week was his back-to-school night and I felt as nauseous sitting there as I had always felt in school. Luckily dyslexia is better understood now that when I was his age so his attitude towards school is so much better.

  3. I'm not sure which to respond to, the memories or the poem that calls to mind me showing filmstrips in my first teaching job-first grade. That was what I was told by my older colleagues to do on Friday afternoon. I was most challenged by running the projector which kept sticking. Ah-h memories! I had my own mother as my sixth (& fifth) grade teacher. I remember doing good things, but I was so embarrassed that she was my mother that I think I've erased everything. Thanks Tara for taking us back. It's nice to see your classroom!

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