Poets, yes. Spies, no.

Sixth graders are not stealthy. This isn’t news to me, but it was brought to my attention today –yet again – in a quite adorable way.

April is National Poetry Month. April is National Poetry Month and my kiddos have been writing poems. April is National Poetry Month, my kiddos have been writing poems, and one of this year’s dads was Poet Laureate of our town. I invited him in to talk to the class. Today.
This is where the not-so-stealthy part comes in.

Mr. Kiddo is in front of the class doing an excellent job of speaking about his writing process. He’s sharing some truly beautiful poems. I’m trying not to tear-up as he reads a poem about when his 12-year-old Buckaroo was just a baby. I glance around the classroom and notice something…

Most of the kiddos are entranced, chins in hands, leaning forward with rapt attention. But two… no, make that three. No, actually it’s four. Wait! FIVE! Five kiddos are futzing in their desks, or have put their head down, or are scribbling something in notebooks on their laps. WHAT? This is unacceptable. We are respectful in room 202!

I attempt some stealth of my own, trying to walk quietly across the room while my heels clack on the tile. One looks up with a sheepish grin as I approach. A second startles and slides what he’s writing into his desk. A third stays face down; her forehead pressed against the edge of the desk. I tap her shoulder, she jumps. I crouch and whisper: “Sweetpea, what are you doing? That’s not very polite.”

And then – I get it. I see the notebook in her lap and I get it. I peer across the table and spy another kiddo doing the same thing. I get it.

They’re writing.

They’ve been inspired by Mr. Kiddo, his talk, and his poems: they’re writing.

“Sorry, Mrs. Schmidt,” whispers the pink-cheeked Sweetpea.

I wink. “Promise I’ll give you writing time after,” I whisper before patting her shoulder, standing, and not-so-stealthily clacking back across the room with a proud smile stretched ear to ear.

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