Sunday, 7 August 2011

English teachers: listen to this

Here’s a poetry workshop that I wish I’d heard when I was a teacher. Six days left to catch it.

Ruth Padel runs this session, the first of four, and she’s great (though I don’t understand her poetry). It takes place in Exeter, which is ok, but the other workshops will be in different places and I hope they’re in to cities, the north and other less well-heeled places. She starts with a terrific poem by Alice Oswald, perhaps my favourite English poet at the moment -- you can see it at that link, along with the poems by the workshop members.

I don’t think I ever taught poetry well until years after I was running PGCE sessions, and they were, to say the least, patchy. Not that I could have run a workshop like Padel’s with many of the kids I taught, but as preparation for teaching a poem a workshop like this would have been fantastic. And it represents a type of English teaching that I think has largely been lost.

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