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Dr. Steph’s Classroom Edit display name

  • Randolph Middle School
  • Charlotte, NC
  • More than a third of students from low‑income households

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Most people struggle to find utility value in poetry. The average adult, regardless of educational level, will admit that they do not find much personal relevance in the poetry they read in middle school - *if* they recall any of the poetry they were asked to read during their formative years, at all; a large factor in this disconnect is the poems selected for textbooks. The number of individuals who both enjoy poetry and identify as male, masculine, athletic, or strong in STEM skills, reduces exponentially. My middle school students actually groan out loud when they hear that there is an entire unit on poetry. By investing in a poetic novel about the most popular sport around the globe (soccer), written by acclaimed author and person of color, Kwame Dawes, my hope is that students will not only begin to recognize themselves in this book, but also - through exposure to the sheer variety of poetic form in the book, and the concept of creating an overarching narrative through a common theme - realize that poetry has the transformative power to combat generations of disillusion.

About my class

Most people struggle to find utility value in poetry. The average adult, regardless of educational level, will admit that they do not find much personal relevance in the poetry they read in middle school - *if* they recall any of the poetry they were asked to read during their formative years, at all; a large factor in this disconnect is the poems selected for textbooks. The number of individuals who both enjoy poetry and identify as male, masculine, athletic, or strong in STEM skills, reduces exponentially. My middle school students actually groan out loud when they hear that there is an entire unit on poetry. By investing in a poetic novel about the most popular sport around the globe (soccer), written by acclaimed author and person of color, Kwame Dawes, my hope is that students will not only begin to recognize themselves in this book, but also - through exposure to the sheer variety of poetic form in the book, and the concept of creating an overarching narrative through a common theme - realize that poetry has the transformative power to combat generations of disillusion.

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About my class

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