For the Winter and Spring to Come
The Slowdown, Episode 758: What You Missed the Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade by Ada Limón, Brad Aaron Modlin
September 8, 2022
Do you know The Slowdown? U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón hosts The Slowdown (produced by American Public Media in partnership with The Poetry Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts), sharing a reflection and poem per episode, every weekday. Educators will enjoy consuming this short, rich, and meditative podcast or its newsletter version via email. In this particular episode from September, Limón reflects on her own education before reading “What You Missed That Day You Were Absent from Fourth Grade” by Brad Aaron Modlin. In Limón’s words, Modlin’s poem “imagines what it would have been like to have been taught some of life’s biggest lessons in elementary school,” yet it’s worth exploring, too, how the poem invites us – at every level of education – to consider and reconsider what we are teaching and why. The episode (or perhaps just the poem itself) is a sumptuous offering for any gathering of educators – from faculty meetings, to departmental retreats, to celebratory events – and timely at any point in the year, including November as we reflect on our work and progress with students, clarifying our goals for the winter and spring to come.