Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Redwood: A Student Poem

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I am blessed to have two passions in life: sharing the outdoors with kids and teaching middle school Science. I teach at a phenomenal school where staff are encouraged to use their creativity to its fullest. The Siena School is a small private school for kids who have mild to moderate learning differences that are college bound.
April is Poetry Month. Siena celebrates the student's creativity in poetic form across grade levels and cross-curricular. Recently, I listened to one of my student's read his poem "Redwood" in front of the school community. I was struck and awed by his ability to place himself in the perspective of the redwood in which to observe the world. Many adults find it difficult to see the world through another's eyes but he does it with ease and wisdom. I am always amazed when kids can share a piece of their sole with us. As adults, we need to remember to listen.

By Andrew, 7th Grade

Go inside a redwood
that would be my way.
I won't get trampled under foot like a sapling.
I am huge and so old.
I would be the giant of the forest.

Continents have drifted in my life span.
Mountains have formed, species have died.
While mountains rise and fall, while cities form,
I would just watch and grow, a gentle giant.
Even as fire and plumes of smoke destroy and kill,
I would stand tall. My bark too thick and my being too mighty
for the killing flames to claim.

Redwoods reach for the sun with such devotion
that we grow taller than the rest
Our canopies high and our roots deep,
we would peacefully rule the forest wherever we chose to grow.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Mother Daughter Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

    Over Memorial Day weekend, my daughter and I, in addition to a friend and her daughter, section hiked the Appalachian Trail in Maryland. We shared challenges and adventures and created memories that will last a life time. We learned that our daughters are strong, can persevere and meet many obstacles with smiles (yes, there were grumbles but usually when they were hungry!). We are so grateful to have shared this experience with them. And, we are so proud. We hope this will inspire many mothers and daughters to seek adventure on the trails together.