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Morning Haiku

When I taught, I used haiku for a various reasons. They are included in two curricula: Language Arts and Social Studies. In Language Arts, students are asked to select words that bit fit rhythm and message of a poem. In Social Studies, haiku were part of a unit on Japan, its history, and its culture. The unit included traditional and contemporary examples. Last, but not least I enjoy haiku, as well.

I think students sense when teachers are passionate about subjects, but conflicting messages adults send can be confusing them. At times, students came to school and said a parent questioned them about why I made them learn “stupid haiku.” I worked for an administrator who made a similar comments. I tell others that leaders pick words carefully and poetry helps us learn how to make those choices.

I love poetry and haiku because they challenge me to think about choosing words, spaces between them, and punctuation. Language and its rules have power that we often overlook.

Sonia Sanchez wrote this haiku and it reminds me how I experience my day tells others something. When I responded to students about why we learned haiku, I chose my words carefully, tempering the conflict that arose because of how I experienced poetry versus how a parent did. I hoped the words I chose signaled something about my day well so that others could enjoy their day.

Let me wear the day
Well so when it reaches you
You will enjoy it.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

16 responses »

  1. That is a haiku that really speaks to me.

  2. It often surprises me that even among educators and writers, poetry (haiku included) is not something they really care about.

  3. I enjoy Haiku also.
    I’ve never tried writing any, but have written poems from time to time.

    I imagine Haiku to be difficult to construct and in that, perhaps, a worthwhile challenge for students.

    People who criticise it probably don’t understand it (or the talent it takes to write it).

    The beauty (of it) is in its simplicity and powerful message.

    • They are tricky to write. I found that with time I got better. I could write one on the spur of the moment to provide examples for students. I think there is a simplicity that belies the complexity.

  4. I like the way you describe poetry as being a choice of words and space… so true, Ivon.

  5. this is a brilliant haiku! and fantastic post Ivon.

  6. Love your perspective Ivon … and this morning’s haiku!
    I feel it πŸ’›

  7. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  8. A great and meaningful art form indeed. My wife to be and I have asked the guests of our upcoming wedding to each prepare a haiku as part of our ceremony as they share their wishes and wisdom. We chose it for all the reasons you praise it so here’s hoping it produces a bit more magic in a month. πŸ™‚


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