Thursday, September 10, 2009

Nice end to a bad day . . .

So yesterday was a bit of a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day. After three years of teaching gifted and talented, I thought I was use to the slurs and attacks that come with it, but yesterday when someone tried to tell me that my job is easy because of the students I have and that I don't work very hard . . . oh, and gifted kids should be in the regular classroom to be 'an inspiration' and to help the others . . .well it still hurts.

As does the strain of anti-intelligence which still run rampant through the school, the state and the country.

But luckily, I came home to the best surprise from my parents who had picked up a book for me that I really, really wanted. Pearl Verses the World by Sally Murphy, is a short story told in verse. Pearl's teacher wants her to write poems that rhyme, but Pearl doesn't have any rhyme in her at the moment. Her grandmother, part of her family of three, is fading.

With Poem in Your Pocket day tomorrow, I really wanted to share this beautiful book with my class. Even better, I got to read this beautiful book for myself. There's something about really good books - they make you feel better about the world when you finish.


  1. Yes, Australia still has a cringe factor about intelligence, that's for sure. I'm so glad Pearl was able to restore your perspective. I enjoyed it too. I hope it might serve as a model to inspire your students' own verse novels!

  2. We read it over the course of the day (a few tears near the end). I think they got a better idea of what a non-rhyming poem might look like, and a few of them want to read it for themselves, so we might have some budding poets yet :)

  3. Mrs D - my google alert led me to your blog post. Your comments about my book have made MY day. Glad you enjoyed the book.
    And, as a parent of gifted children (and some experience teaching them as well) I, for one, appreciate how challenging your job can be. Keep up the good work!

  4. I read Pearl Versus the World today and it moved me in a way that few books ever have. It is one of the most beautiful books I have read, so I can imagine it was the perfect pick me up for you after your day. I read it on the way home from the Brisbane Writers Festival and actually felt "changed" after I finished it. I got off the bus a different person after spending time with Pearl.

    As for those who threw you barbed remarks - aren't their comments usually more about what's lacking in their life? Yes, there's something about really good books - they do make you feel better about the world when you finish. But there is also something about really talented teachers who lead kids to their full potential. And your gift for that is a classroom of beautifully talented kids.
    Happy Poem in Your Pocket Day :)

  5. Australia is blessed to have a caring, beautiful teacher like you.

  6. Sally - thank you for your comment, we really, utterly enjoyed Pearl (and my mother is still raving about it - she read it before passing it on to me).

    Lynn and Angela - Thank you for your lovely comments :)