This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.
“Words are my friends,” I replied to Little David’s question. He had asked me why I write poems on the chalkboard everyday… His question had surprised me in a fun philosophical way; I had to pause… and think… about how to answer his from-behind-my-back classroom question that I did not see coming: as I was in my Poeming Zone deep in “Intimate Immensities” first thing in the morning at Mar Vista Elementary School in Santa Cruz, California… That was 35 years ago… I had already become a writer 58 years ago when I was 4 years old and entered kindergarten in Brooklyn, New York… With a pencil in my hand (and an eraser ) I started drawing pictures and writing words; It was fun, pictures and words were my friends way back then… I remember in Miss McGuire’s 2nd grade class discovering the word “unusual”; This was no small event: I couldn’t believe I had found a word that had 3 u’s in it!!! Indeed, this was as the word meant, “Unusual”… I went home after school and told my Mom about it; She too agreed that “Yes Allen, that is Unusual to see a word with 3 u’s in it – Especially since the word IS Unusual.” Life was that way for me ever since I can remember… Luckily as a kid I had plenty of comic books with pictures and words around And my parents always had the New York newspapers at home to discover more and more Words… It’s true, life was pretty amazing for me… Then years later as I became a grown-up, somehow I became a teacher… And of course I wrote poems on the chalkboard everyday in the classroom: For my students’ birthdays, for my students’ names, for students’ prizes, for holidays and celebrations, for phonics fun like alliterations and silly rhymings… Words became stories and stories became books and books became my life… From the 26 letters of the English alphabet, I have led a very amazing and exciting life… And everyday that I breathe, I also write… Words are my friends, and I will share them with you… Now we have begun… July 1, 2011… Welcome… Allen