Wearing Teacher’s Shoes

By Morrissa Valasek

On Friday, December 21, 2018, the teachers and staff of Redbank Valley set up their second annual Student EdCamp, a day (before Christmas Break) that students go to fun, educational sessions instead of classes. Presenters include teachers, community members and students.   This year many more students  volunteered to teach students about their hobbies, experiences, skills, etc. We volunteered to teach Blackout Poetry for Student EdCamp.

Blackout Poetry is a way to express what you want to say using someone else’s words. No, it’s not plagiarism–it’s taking a page from an old book and blacking out all of the words you don’t want. The remaining words make your own poem.  Think of it as a form of recycling!

More often than not, students take their teachers for granted. We never realize the time, work, and late nights it takes to be a teacher. The process of creating the lesson plans, copy making, collecting supplies, etc. takes much more time and effort than what we thought.  To prepare for our session, we had multiple things to do. This consisted of ripping up books, taping newspaper to desks, and making sure that we had plenty of sharpie markers. When planning our session, we decided that in addition to random old books, we would include pages of song lyrics so student would be more involved with the words they knew.  We took clean song lyrics and retyped them into paragraph form and we printed them out.

Since we got to participate in teaching our own session during Student EdCamp,  we had to put ourselves in the teacher’s shoes. All in all, it was a great experience for  both of us, and we cannot wait to do it again next year.