PD with Joseph Green

I had a relaxing, enjoyable 2-hours with spoken word poet, Joseph Green on my early Release Wednesday designated for staff PD. He first modeled so well the importance of asking how each of the 11 teachers in the room were doing. He reminded me how I need to do this more with my students. Before diving into the work. Ask. Listen. Build trust.

Then he guided me to write a poem.
Step 1: List 3 things I am and 3 things I do.
I am 1. wife 2. mom 3. Arlingtonian
I do 1. read 2. teach 3. blogg

He read to us a powerful poem in his powerful voice.
What’s it Like to Be a Black Girl (for Those of You Who Aren’t) by Patricia Smith

Then he gave me 5 minutes to write using this stem:
What it’s like to be ____ (pick a word from I am list)
that ____ (pick a word from I do list).
I picked Arlingtonian and teach and here’s my draft
(just a quick draft…another day in March, I hope to return to revise)

What It’s Like to be an Arlingtonian that Teaches
It is smooth sailing when they arrive in my classroom
loving it…many do.
It is smooth sailing when they arrive in my classroom
with ideas ready to write…many do.
So many are well traveled and have no trouble writing
about their last trip or cruise.
It is so frustrating when they are so self-absorbed
caring more about themselves than anything beyond their nose,
caring nothing about what I hope to guide them to learn.

How lovely to spend 2 hours remembering that poets
like Patricia Smith and Lucille Clifton exist.
How lovely to spend 2 hours being seen and heard
and having time to write.
How lovely to have my soul fed during this Wed. afternoon PD.

I HIGHLY recommend Joseph Green for PD.
He is returning to our school to work with our 8th graders
for 2 weeks in May!! I can’t wait to sneak in to learn more from him.
He is in the DC area.
He can be reached at joseph@LMSvoice.com
on twitter @josephLMSvoice
When I meet great educators, I just have to share!
The quote on his business card:
“No matter a person’s backstory, we all have he power to become the primary author of our character.” from Storyteller by Joseph Green

9 thoughts on “PD with Joseph Green

  1. margaretsmn says:

    Thanks for sharing your PD session and bravely sharing your poem draft. I’m always on the look out for prompts and models to get my students writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MegMcCormick says:

    Wow, he sounds incredible! Like others, I admire you for sharing your draft within this slice! I need to dive into the aforementioned poems and Joseph Green’s work!


  3. Fran McCrackin says:

    I like how your identity as an Arlingtonian took on dimension as you introduce you to your challenges with students. The direction changed unexpectedly, which was a strength in your poem.
    As usual, you pass on inspiration as you receive it – I hope to return to poetry.


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