Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Moved to Tears #SOL17
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Slice of Life: Moved to Tears #SOL17

This poem by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater brought a first grader to tears last week.  We read it as a mentor text to discuss how poets find inspiration for topics.  We read it and then paused to feel it.  We read it again and I invited the students to turn and talk.  This young man was overwhelmed with emotion.  The thought of the year ending.  The realization that he would have to say goodbye to his teacher – “not see her every day” – and his community of friends.


He left the lesson for a moment to regroup.  The rest of us just paused and took a moment to embrace this experience together.  As the students looked to me, all I could say was, “Sometimes that is what writing does.  It moves us.  It inspires us.  It changes us.”

We are in the homestretch of this school year.  I hope this young reader and writer inspires all of us to slow down, to appreciate the year, to celebrate the moments you spent together and to feel the bittersweet emotions of saying goodbye to something precious.


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    Aileen Hower
    Posted at 22:24h, 30 May Reply

    Kieran would feel nostalgic after reading this poem. Powerful. So sweet that he felt so strongly at such a young age. It says something wonderful about his teacher, class, and school.

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    Rose Cappelli
    Posted at 22:48h, 30 May Reply

    What a wonderful year this young boy must have had! Thanks for sharing.

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    Susan Kennedy
    Posted at 23:41h, 30 May Reply

    I am brought to tears by this story.

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    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 00:52h, 31 May Reply

    Thanks for sharing not only this moving story but the poem too. So great that these students all learned the lesson of the power of words at such a young age – thanks to your insight.

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    Christie Wyman
    Posted at 01:03h, 31 May Reply

    I know how he feels, and Amy beautifully captured that end of the year feeling. We grow so fond of our students, don’t we? I’m always terribly sad on the last day. And then I wake up the next morning, and it’s summer vacation, so all is right with the world once again.

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    Lorie Barber
    Posted at 01:30h, 31 May Reply

    Beauty in simplicity, both the poem and the story of your young boy. I love that he was able to share his emotions and that you honored them. The last day brings so many different emotions. For some, they can’t wait to celebrate summer and take a break. For those whom we are their safe place, however, the end of the year can be scary.

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    Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
    Posted at 15:41h, 31 May Reply

    Poetry helps us in so many ways. We need each other, and we need words that help us understand change. Thank you for sharing my poem with these students. Please give this young man a hug from me. x

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    Posted at 17:58h, 31 May Reply

    Poetry has the power to show us a piece of our own heart.

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    Posted at 20:51h, 31 May Reply

    Poetry and the words used to convey a feeling or situation matter. Words matter. Thanks for sharing what Amy’s poem did to move this first grader.

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