Student Voice: Freedom and Confidence Through Poetry

When I first heard that my school was going to be using the Summit Learning approach, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t understand how it worked or that it might be too complicated. But as I’ve used Summit this year, I’ve felt more confident.

I have more freedom, am better organized, and have a lot of time for teamwork.

I especially enjoyed the Exploring Poetry Project that we finished this year. One of the things that made this project so special to me was that we had more freedom. We could work on our own poems and show our emotions. I loved that I could write my own poem and make it the way I want. My favorite poem that I wrote was about fairness. Of course my teacher Mrs. Shull helped out, but I got to be free on paper.

Teamwork is another part of Summit that I love. One time, I had trouble with a checkpoint in science. I didn’t understand the directions, so I asked my friend Lily, and she was able to help me understand. We learn collaboration skills when we do peer editing and group work, like how to improve our work and receive constructive criticism.

For example, we performed our poems in front of a small group. When we had finished, our peers told us what we needed to work on. I learned that I could work on adding gestures, as well as increase the volume of my voice. As we work, we are able to stay on task and still have fun and work together.

When Mrs. Shull first told us that we would have to get up in front of the class and share a poem for Open Mic, I was a little nervous. I don’t like getting up in front of people. But then I thought, “I’ve known these kids for a long time. I’m used to them, and I’m used to their opinions. Maybe it won’t be so bad.”

When the day for the Open Mic came, Mrs. Shull had us draw a number to see who would go first. Of course, I picked number one. Lucky me! I was hoping for something near the end, maybe even the very last one.


By Zoey Kaneer

You might just be my Romeo

And I’m your Juliet

We like each other

But our paths may not cross

We are forced to be apart

Even though we have the other’s heart

Then I looked around and thought, “I can do this!” Once I got started, I was fine. I’ve never really expressed my feelings in a poem in front of people before, and it ended up being a good thing. I may even want to write poems when I grow up!

Read how other students are building new skills for life and exploring their passions on the Summit Learning Blog.

About the author

Zoey Kaneer
Zoey Kaneer is a sixth grade student at Chester County Junior High School. She enjoys reading and helping her fellow classmates. She can not pick one favorite book, but recently she enjoyed the Divergent series. In her spare time, she plays soccer for the school team.