At the beginning of each school year, I ask my students one question: “What would it take to make this the most productive year you have ever had in an English class?” I then ask each class to create a creed or poem to identify themselves, try their best to answer the question, and state what their goals are and how they hope to accomplish them.
This writing assignment is aimed at teaching collaboration and teamwork. Students begin with individual ideas, meld them together with their classmates’ thoughts, throw away the nonsense, and streamline the concepts into a few written lines. This class of teen girls took the task very seriously and focused on how they were determined to conduct themselves not only this school year but beyond. The students arrived at the TA-DA moment. I think they surprised themselves and were well pleased with their finished product. So here’s some powerful teen poetry: Girls Today – Women Tomorrow, a 4th Hour Creed.
Girls Today – Women Tomorrow
Living life, leaving sorrow.
Building our brains, our beauty, our brawn;
Our hearts of jealousy won’t rule on.
Respecting our lives and avoiding trauma,
We encourage others and DON’T DO DRAMA!
Believing in teamwork and loving others,
We’re FAMILY here – but different mothers.
Honesty/selflessness: goals for our minds;
Learning healthy love, so we can shine.
We share our thoughts and have questions to ask
To teachers and students we have in class,
And from these questions, we long to know
Just how our knowledge and wisdom grow.
Graduation dates – years 18 to 21,
But when we walk that stage,
We’ll know we’ve just begun.
We choose to love and leave the sorrow,
Girls Today – Women Tomorrow.
Written by: Cheyenne, Chloe, Emmeline, Jordan, Kamerin, Patricia, Raena, Samendia, and Shyanna