Slamming Creativity: An Assignment for My “Fundamentals in Teaching” Class

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Happy New Year Blogosphere!

This month has been crazy. As I only finished one course in December, the majority of my courses have carried over in the New Year. Therefore, all my work I put down during the break is now DUE!

I can’t declare official chaos, but every assignment I finish puts me closer to sanity. But I wanted to pause for a second and share with you guys an assignment I am working on right now. For my Fundamentals in Teaching class, we have a creativity assignment. We are supposed to reflect on how we can be creative in the classroom by creating a presentation. Most of my classmates have paired off or have joined a massive group to create something wonderful. But I thought of taking a non-traditional route with my presentation.

A couple of months ago I wrote about the boy who asked me if I would rather be a millionaire or a teacher for the rest of my life. (You can view that post here!) I thought it would be unique to bring that situation into my presentation. As I am one-woman show, I decided to present the situation as a slam poetry piece. I decided to present my thoughts on what was going through my head when he asked me that question. I have finished writing my piece and I present on Monday (Jan 19). If I am brave enough, I will ask a peer to record me and I’ll post it for everyone to see. If you would like to see my piece, comment below and let me know!

Slam poetry is huge, especially amongst the youth in urban areas. The rhythm of slam poetry brings a life to written text. Most of the slams are written about the author’s personal experience with conflict or passion. Slams are meant to be felt, and to evoke strong emotion.

I was inclined to write and present a slam poetry piece after watching 2 inspirational people perform their slams.

The first person is Taylor Mali. He was a teacher and now a full time slam poet. He is most famous for his piece “What Teacher’s Make.” He has presented this piece live many times, but has found success when he was featured during a Ted Talk. I love how he enunciates certain words and channels passion through his words. You can watch his slam piece below:

My second inspiration was Alicia Keys. During my undergrad, I bravely recited Alicia Key’s slam called POW in my Creative Arts 2 class. I have never recited slam poetry before, but I was instantly hooked on making the piece perfect for my performance and I was so proud of myself for taking a leap into the unknown. Alicia commands the audience by using different tones in her voice and elevates her volume at certain parts. Here is a clip of her piece:

Ever since that performance, I have been itching to do it again, and here is my turn!

 

Wish me luck guys. I am quite scared as I had support from my partners last time I performed, but I think if I can do this in front of my peers, I will have the confidence to bring it to my classrooms.

Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

 

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