I had a wonderful time at the Texas Association of Bilingual Education (TABE) Rio Grande Valley conference held in South Padre Island this weekend. I was happy to once again connect with many of my former University of Texas Pan American (UTPA) students and colleagues.
My session titled “Portrayal of Culture in Children’s Poetry: Bridge to Cognitive Development” was very well attended with close to 50 attendees, well above my expectations!
Most importantly, there was excellent interaction and dialogue throughout the presentation. I really enjoyed sharing my experience teaching poetry in both the public school as well as the university level. I have been blessed to have experienced great success in enabling students to produce excellent literary works.
As a workshop type of session, I had the participants read and review some of the poems from my collection Cantos del alma y del corazón. The key issue they had to examine was how the poem might be culturally relevant to the Hispanic learner in the public schools today. I was delighted with the interesting discussion and insightful observations that were generated as they completed the task.
It is my sincere hope that this poetry collection may be useful to teachers as they are charged with the challenging task of helping students read and analyze poetry, but most importantly, motivating students to enjoy reading and writing poetry. That is the ultimate goal – well beyond just meeting test objectives.