My name is Tammy Clark. I am a Special Education Teacher in Alpine, Utah, USA. I use your poem Conversation with an Alien every year with my students and we even have a class alien that the kids have named “Bleebleoople.” Of course he was lonely so I acquired another one (that is purple) and they have named it “Blurpleoople.”
Quite a few years ago I attended a Poetry Workshop you ran for a group of schools from Tunbridge Wells and left feeling truly inspired. I am still teaching but now on the other side of the world in Australia. I have become known in the school I work in for being a ‘poetry teacher’, as I do use poetry a lot in with my classes and as a result have been asked to run a Poetry Workshop for our next Staff Development Day in April. As a starting point I’ve been remembering some of the ideas you gave me back then and went to your website where I found your contact e mail. So I thought I’d just drop you a line to ask for any advice to help me, a poetry enthusiast who is a part time primary school teacher to inspire other primary teachers to enjoy poetry with their students. . .
. . . just a quick update on how my workshop went today – phew! Now that it’s over I can actually admit that I quite enjoyed it!!! I recommended to both groups to look at your website and showed them the Notebook you kindly sent through to me. We also tried a few activities I remembered from the workshop I attended that you ran. One of the teachers asked to borrow my copy of your Welsh Rhubarb book to have a proper read, as the few poems she read she loved. So all-in-all it went well and seemed to be well received – a bit hard to gauge, but the comments were positive and generally Aussies are quite straight talking! Thank you so much for help, ideas, support and helping to inspire me.
Tala was absolutely thrilled that you had taken the time to write and include such wonderful things. Our book week was a huge success with storytelling,poetry reading and many other practical activities such as book swaps, dressing up and numerous competitions. We had your poems on display throughout the week and read them aloud in assemblies. We also had a parents evening where parents came to the school to see how we teach the subjects – mine being literacy, I had your work on display and was able to explain how we used “real people who are still alive and well” to help us teach and inspire the children.
Clary Read (Literacy Coordinator)