Monday, August 21, 2006

Dreaming in Public

Well, I'm back, as I love to say. Back and busy, too--especially where poetry teaching is concerned, and you reading this (whoever you are) can be mighty helpful to me, if you don't mind weighing in.

I am trying to design a series of workshops to be held here in Chicago, with the goal of getting local K-12 teachers (maybe mostly middle and high school teachers) in contact with resources at my university (DePaul) and in the Chicago area. These could be the model for other such programs in other college towns, if they go well, so your dreams are as good as mine.

Now, here's the question.

Speaking from your own experience, your own desires, dreams, etc., and those of your own school, what would be the most useful things these workshops could offer?

One way I could organize them would be around approaches to poetry, for example:

Performance: teaching through recitation and performance analysis

Interdisciplinary Approaches (poetry and music, poetry and history, poetry and visual art, etc.)

Close Reading

Reading and Creative Writing

On the other hand, I've also thought that as teachers, you might find it more helpful to have workshops on particular poets and poems, so that you come away with some immediately importable materials for your own classroom practice.

We could have a series of workshops on famous, regularly-taught poems, for example, with each workshop featuring background on the poem and poet, material on its context, a jointly-done close reading of the poem, maybe something about how it could be performed, etc.

What do you think would be best, most useful, most popular? If you could click your ruby heels together and visit such a workshop, or set of workshops, what would you find?

More soon,

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