I love admiring this picture. For me, there's something so very peaceful about it. It represents nine months of blossoming for 24 young little thinkers. I took this on the day of our Poetry Cafe (inspired by Marie, my teammate, who found an amazing post about a teacher who knew how to put on a great Poetry Cafe - look here and you'll be impressed). Each of my poets got to sit in the limelight and read one of their published poems while the other poets sat on the floor quietly awaiting their turn and teaching the adults who came to join us how to be poetically cool and snap after each reading. (The black curtain is a Dollar Store tablecloth. I love how simple and perfect and cheap it is.)
As our guests arrived, two of my kids stood at the door and welcomed them with their greetings, as well as a program. We had lots of guests too. Only five of my kids weren't represented by an adult.
They were encouraged to wear jeans and black t-shirts. Berets were also mentioned as an option, and a handful took me up on that. They were pretty cute and very poetic looking.
Each poet got to read their poem into our new sound system. You can see this little poet holding onto the microphone that fits around the neck. It definitely came in handy for some of our quiet readers and noisier guests.
I also read a poem of mine. I read my Where I am From poem, which my kids also wrote during our unit. In fact, a few chose to read theirs at our Poetry Cafe. I recently posted about them. (Look here. You'll find a template.) Anyway, I didn't plan on crying, but the minute I sat down, I knew I was in trouble. I cried through the whole thing and could tell the tears were a bit contagious for the adults in the room too. Poetry and a blessed life and a year spent with little people who have grown so much can do that to a person.
Every year my poets celebrate the end of our unit by publishing their poetry in a poetry anthology. This year was no different, except that I decided to pass them out at the end of our Poetry Cafe as a perfect way to end a perfect moment. The cookies were an added bonus.
I'm very grateful that Marie suggested we give this Poetry Cafe idea a shot. I knew it was going to be worth it. I just didn't know how much. (The parents raved about it, by the way.) I've definitely found a new tradition.