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Teacher uses poetry to inspire confidence, build language skills

Margie Diaz I have been teaching at Belvedere Elementary School for 21 years, but I feel like I’ve been here all my life. I attended Belvedere as a student, and worked as a teacher's assistant for several years before I was hired as a teacher. My heart is at this school.

I teach first-grade students who have limited English skills. I use different tools to help internalize the new language for them. Through song, through poetry, through repetition, my students feel confident in themselves and they feel confident in sharing.

We have also implemented the The Leader in Me program by Stephen Covey, which is part of "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." I really see a change in the students and their goal-setting trends. The program include a poetry section, which included a cute slogan, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, there’s a leader in us all." I added a stanza and encourage the students to sing it every morning: “I see my reflection, there I see the great leader that’s in me.”

All this helps my students use the language from the song and incorporate it into everyday language.

Margie Diaz
First-grade teacher
Belvedere Elementary School