Friday, May 1, 2015

Reblog from Student Newspaper

David Escobar-Martin slams down verses with visit to Creative Writing class

The Fordian
Jack Durfee, Contributor
April 30, 2015

On Wednesday, April 30th, Ms. Ward’s 3rd block Creative Writing class was treated to a very special guest. Slam poet, and Montgomery County Poet Laureate David Escobar-Martin came in to perform some of his well-regarded and entertaining slam poetry. Escobar-Martin put together about a 20 minute set that kept the 9th through 12th grade students on the edge of their seats, snapping and really getting into the poetry with almost every line as  Escobar-Martin’s work is personal and rooted in family past.

“If it weren’t for how accepting the poetry community is, I wouldn’t be able to perform such personal poems” Escobar-Martin says, as his personal works look to create a trust between the listeners and the performer which is something that the Creative Writing students and poetry audiences everywhere seem to appreciate.

After the “oohs”, “ahhs” and snaps were silenced from room 330, it was time to get to work. After his performance David ran a writing workshop for the rest of class, which gave the students a chance to share some of their work with a published poet and receive some important feedback. Escobar-Martin taught skills not only in writing poetry, but also in performing it as well; something students don’t really learn about in a typical poetry unit.

Martin’s visit was in connection to April which is National poetry month, but his visit is nothing new to Ward’s classes as she always tries to bring guests into the classroom.

“I’m a firm believer in bringing the outside into the classroom”, Ward says, because “bringing professionals in opens up opportunities for students to learn from experts in the field, as well as learn about what careers are out there.” Ward uses her connections through local libraries and connecting with anyone she can online to bring in experts who are able to improve whatever lesson she may be teaching. She says it’s also important for these professionals to see all the important and creative work being done in local high school classrooms.

This year alone, Ward has remarkably organized and had over 10 different authors, poets, and speakers come in to her classes and larger groups. She also worked again this year with the Haverford Township Free Library  and Free Library of Philadelphia to have the One Book One Philadelphia author come speak to the school.

The school district video site even had to create a new folder for all the author visits that Ward has had this year, not to mention the many from years past. Watch author visits here http://havsd.pegcentral.com/index.php?search_f=subject&search_v=School%20Board%20Meeting

Escobar-Martin’s visit gave Ward’s third block a taste of live slam poetry, insight into poetry and the creative process, but also a glimpse into the dedication and remarkable ability of Ms. Ward to bring variety and experts into her classes.
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