Deaidre White teaches spoken word poetry at San Francisco Community School, a K-8 school founded in 1972. She works closely with the classroom teachers to make sure that her spoken word lessons are in line with what the students are learning in classes. Deaidre’s class is part of our Artists-in-Schools (AIS) program. Learn more about our AIS program here.
I have been working with San Francisco Community School for two years. I love watching my students get comfortable with performing and learning to control their own voices.
My classes often touch on sensitive topics like race, immigration, household and family issues, fears, and other very, very personal experiences. Poetry allows students to say what they feel about difficult topics without totally revealing their secrets.
One of the most fulfilling moments of my work is when a student shares a poem he wrote on a topic we didn’t discuss in class. That means he went home and used poetry to get something off his mind or express his struggles.
A lot of times in school, especially in a writing class, students are told to be quiet. Not so here! I have the pleasure of watching students shine as their true selves and it’s always really cool.
I love that students come back to visit me. They give me hugs and tell me they’re still writing. Some of the students still call my personal number to tell me about their lives and their academic achievements.
Get to know Deaidre! Check out her profile here.