This past week end, I started teaching my arts integration grad course through the district in which I work.  16 teachers from grades Pre K-12 gathered together and worked hard getting started on the track of Arts Integration.  It was wonderful!  We talked, we listened, we created, we collaborated, we connected.  What else can you ask for?

On Friday evening, after watching a webinar on arts int and having some great discussion, I asked each person to create a poem that highlighted their take-aways thus far.  Each participant wrote such great stuff which we shared as our opener on Saturday morning.  (I am hoping to share some of the work with you at a later time.)  And then one of my colleagues asked me slyly, “Where’s your poem, Elizabeth???”

And so I went to work.

Throughout the day on Saturday, the teachers went through the creative process together as they worked through their ideas focused on arts integration: the values and challenges it poses.  I walked around, observing each group and as I walked I wrote this poem.  I hope you enjoy…


Teachers working

Separate, alone

distant and disconnected.

Where’s the love?

the connection?

the engagement?

Day by day we work:

little play,

little time,

little help,

little time.

Did I mention time?

and papers?

and pressure?

and… AHHHH!

Then put us together

and give us some time.

and let us create

for heaven’s sake!


I see these teachers.

I live their walk.

I watch them work

and see a spark…


It’s dulled, though.


So let’s fix it.


Put us together,

and give us some time.


Frustrating at first:

“You mean we’re together?”

“My ideas are shared?”

“Wait! I want my doors back!”

“I want them locked!”

“This can be hard.”

or can it?


Does it really have to be?


Just put us together

and give us some time.


With time, we can work it.

With time, we can process

build ourselves,

build relationships,

share ideas.

Collaboration at its best!


And what do you get?


Well, first you need to

Put us together

and give us some time.


And then you’ll see

the possibilities –


Smiling faces

(Yes, that’s important)

Calm collaboration

Organic work

It’s raw, it’s real


Work gets done!


So, don’t doubt it

or disregard

just trust it.


Trust the process.


And put us together

and give us some time!


Have a great day! ~EMP

The Push
Norman Rockwell and Black History