I am an Intervention Specialist for fifth and sixth graders. I used to be called a special education teacher, but that's not PC -so now I have a title that basically means I help the special education students in the general classroom as well as bring them to my room for small group instruction. Anyway - the belief is that if students are "exposed" to the general curriculum and are with typical same-age peers that they will learn better. That is not always the case, but sometimes I see the benefits of "Inclusion". The other day the fifth grade teacher was teaching the students about free verse poetry after previously attempting rhymed verse. The classroom that I work in is the only one in the building to have a SmartBoard, which is an interactive whiteboard hooked up to a computer that can display the Internet or be used as a chalkboard with memory. I brought up this blog (which usually is blocked in the public schools, but somehow works with the SmartBoard) to show the students some of my free verse. They didn't seem all that impressed, but one of my students, Courtney Gipson-Payton wrote this lovely poem. I think he understood the lesson:
As I fill the life
As I fill the air
As the season goes by the month
I still am a part of life.