Windermere Secondary School
December 8 and 17, I visited Lee’s Socials 10 Class at Windemere Secondary School. Very engaged and articulate students there, led by a committed and enthusiastic instructor! I showed a number of photographs of historic Vancouver sites, including the Renfrew Ravine nearby which their school had played a key role in restoring years ago, and encouraged the students to write about them. On the 17th, the class was divided into three groups to write a collective poem to reimagine Vancouver, using the prompt, “Imagine a city that…”
On Dec 18, I visited Tanja Boteju’s English class at York House School through Poetry in Voice, the wonderful national organization established by the Griffin Foundation, focusing on performance. I offered some tips, and then led students in an exercise to find texture and colour in the text of their own poems, and then practice them in groups of two. At the end of the class, three talented students performed their poems. Tanja is an amazing and successful published writer of several books in her own right.
On December 10, I had the pleasure of going out to my alma mater, UBC, to talk to student teachers in Language and Literacy classes in the Faculty of Education taught by Professor Kedrick James and Dr. Bonnie Nish, both of whom are local published poets of note. I informed everyone about the upcoming Poet Laureate’s City Poems Contest, and we tried out some writing prompts using images of historic sites. This was an opportune time to visit student teachers, right before the January practicum period. Thank you to Bonnie and Kedrick for their gracious invitation, and to the student teachers who participated in the writing exercises.