This past January, I was fortunate to attend the Illinois Reading Recovery Conference in Chicago over two days…learning from educators that have spent years mastering their fields, delving further into reading conferences, and writing using mentor texts.
One particular session, hosted by Mr. Ralph Fletcher, focused on alternative ways to use mentor texts in the classroom. One particular example was a poem he had written years prior titled, “The Good Old Days.” Ralph challenged us participating teachers to follow his format and try one on our own. The result: teachers huddled around notebooks flashing back to their childhoods, sniffles echoed loudly throughout the room, tissues being handed out to wipe away tears that eventually slid down red cheeks.
The Good Old Days
-Sometimes I remember
the good old days,
-Going camping on the weekends
with my parents and sisters
-Riding our bikes
down the rocky, gravel road
– Crunching over the crisp fall leaves
that have fallen to the ground
-My parents laughing and smiling,
talking quietly, calm and peaceful…the calm before the storm
-I still can’t imagine
anything better than that