teachers think of my work?
Walker Elementary (2nd grade)
King Lab Magnet School
Fenton High School
21st Century Project (at-risk after-school)
Abraham Lincoln Elementary
New Trier High School
Francis W. Parker School
Thurgood Marshall Middle School
Evanston Township High School
Glenbard East High School
students think of my work?
2nd grade team at Walker Elementary in Evanston, who worked with Alice
in 2011, gave her top marks "very good" in all 13 categories of the evaluation
form. Two benefits they noted from the four-week residency were "reinforcement
of language and revision, even if it means changing one word." "The kids
loved it and we feel they learned a lot." Check out some student
from this residency.
In fall 2008, Alice worked with Language
Arts teacher Marty Behm's 8th graders, during a two-week residency culminating
in a 'poetry slam'.
I think that the turnout for the culminating event
at Boocoo was proof positive that students can both thoroughly enjoy
a poetry unit as well as develop as poets and citizens (and that these
two concepts can really work hand in hand). Alice’s
effectiveness in the classroom really stemmed from her preparedness,
enthusiastic attitude as a poet, and seamless ability to transition
between teacher, critic, fan, and supporter. The students felt completely
at ease with her and produced for her (not an easy task to pull out
In addition to teaching the students, Alice taught
me so much about what an effective poetry unit can and should look like.
I’ve spoken with
teachers who have voiced the opinion that poetry, with its lack of “rules”,
in turn frustrates them as teachers. What Alice is able to provide is this
structure through clear, effective lessons. Her attitude and flexibility,
however, never jeopardize the freedom of poetry that allows students from
different levels and backgrounds to find a medium of expression. In addition,
she is always looking for ways to improve, which is such an outstanding
attribute in an educator. I look forward to working with her again.
In the spring of 2006, the Bensenville Arts
Council contracted with Alice to work as artist-in-residence in five different
schools, K-12. In all the schools, Alice worked with art teachers to create
a variety of art/poetry projects, including 'scribble poems' a la Cy Twombly,
collage and hand poems
Alice’s unique technique
for combining visual art with writing brought a fresh approach to what
it means to create art. Our students were totally engaged in the writing
process and never once asked why they were writing instead of solely
making art. This was due to the careful technique of weaving the visual
art making with writing. In an age when writing is such an important
part of our school and state goals, it makes perfect sense to find engaging
ways of incorporating the arts. Alice
is an extremely creative poet and artist herself. Her expertise, passions,
and connections to other artists and poets gave our students a broad
foundation and inspiration to build upon. Alice truly instilled confidence
for them to find their own creative insights.
Since fall of 2004, Alice has provided four six-week
creative writing workshops to 3-5th graders participating in Evanston
District 65's 21st Century :project, a federally funded afterschool program
for at-risk students.
She is professional, meets deadlines,
and coordinates well with various staff members. Under her guidance,
the students in the program created wonderful art and writing. When
this was put on display in the schools, the teachers, parents and community
members were truly impressed by the quality of the work and it often
changed their perceptions (for the better) of the ability of the children
who created it. Alice's strengths as a teacher (of both children and
adults) are conveying an enthusiasm for what she does, being organized,
acting as a team player, flexible and creative.(coordinator)
I found the activity very worthwhile because it stimulated a lot of
creativity. A number of the students even began to apply what they learned
about creative writing to their homework. (teacher)
In the spring of 2005, Dawes Elementary,
a public K-5 school in Evanston, Illinois, brought Alice into their school
as visiting poet for eight weeks. Students engaged in a variety of poetry
activities, and also worked with Alice in the art room to create collages
and poems, and in the drama room to perform their poetry. A poetry club
and a family night enhanced the residency.
experienced success, even my students who are not the best writers.
Alice's ease with children is impressive...contagious excitement for
modeling was excellent. I may repeat one or two of the exercises; more
importantly however are the ideas I learned for teaching poetry in the
the collages--incredible project! Generated wonderful poetry, motivated
and engaged students in writing with an appreciation for vocabulary
and word choice.
In the fall of 2004, Abraham Lincoln Elementary,
a public K-5 school in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, brought Ms. George in for
a six-week residency with 3-5th graders. A total of twelve classrooms
worked with Alice, and the fourth grade students also created art/poetry
collages in art class, and wrote song lyrics in music. Teachers filling
out surveys were unanimous in giving Alice highest points in "Brainstorming/Group
modeling" and "Communicating enthusiasm for poetry & writing."
students were able to succeed. I loved this program and would love to
do it again.
Poetry as expression
is FAR out of my comfort zone...so this was very informative for me.
Alice was not only a great poet, but also great with kids. She was able
to pique their interest, and keep them engaged in learning.
Ms. George turned
the children into poetic animals....they loved it!
She engaged all students
in meaningful, high quality writing.
In the spring of 2004,
Oakton Elementary, a public K-5 school in Evanston, brought
Ms. George in to conduct a 8-week residency. Working with classrooom teachers
at all grade levels, and the music, art and library teachers, Ms. George
engaged hundreds of students in poetry activities.
Some teacher comments:
loved it! They were really stimulated to be creative. Ms, George was
inspiring and listened well to my students and I also was inspired to
do a collage and poem.
The students came out
of it with an excitement for poetry and more confidence as writers.
Fall of 2003, Beaubien Elementary, a public K-8 school
on Chicago's north side, engaged Ms. George as a Visiting Artist, working
with 7th and 8th grade classrooms over a 6-week period, culminating in
a very successful Poetry Slam. Some comments included:
had a blast...could it last 10 months?
poems were the most engaging...the result of combining art with poem
of my students have not done any work this year, and they really enjoyed
the poetry activities. I took photos that day!
learned a lot regarding lesson plans...and think all the exercises went
well. Several children used this as a positive way to vent frustrations...Some
of the work we got from the students was very surprising.
In Winter of 2004, New Trier High School,
a public high school on Chicago's northshore, brought Ms. George in to
work with three photography and two video classes. She engaged the students
in creative writing and visual arts exercises, then assigned and mentored
the students as they worked to combine creative writing with photo and
video images. Kathy Pilat, the photography teacher said:
The collage exercise
was successful because it was a good warm up, introduction and visual
approach to writing. All your methods were successful...I'm going to
use all your methods. You were fabulous to work with. Many kids said
they loved the exercise and were very proud of their photo/writing works.
In March and April of 2003, Francis W.
Parker School (a private school on Chicago's north side), contracted
with Ms. George to work with David Fuder's four eight grade classrooms
during a six-week period. Her work with the students included a two-unit
collage/poetry assignment, metaphor work, and 'spell' poems, and also
touched upon the role of political poetry vis a vis the war with Iraq.
David gave Ms. George highest marks in six different evaluation categories.
Alice brought great ideas and activities that
were engaging, interesting, and exciting for my students. She blended
a wonderful mixture of art into her teaching of poetry, and she had
a wonderful rapport with my students. Alice’s humor, thoughtfulness,
and patience served her well as did her encouraging, nurturing attitude
towards the students she saw each week...Her residency not only gave
me some great ideas for teaching poetry, but if confirmed the vitalness
of teaching it as a regular part of my curriculum.
In February of 2003, Thurgood Marshall
Middle School (a Chicago public school serving a largely Latino
and economically disadvantaged population) engaged Ms. George as Writer-in-Residence.
Alice first conducted a professional development workshop for Marshall
teachers, then worked with selected 7th and 8th graders over the course
of one intensive week, and then facilitated a reading.
100% of the Marshall teachers gave Alice George highest marks (“Very
Good”) in five evaluation areas including her ability to communicate
enthusiasm for poetry and writing, effective brainstorming, control of
group/discipline, clear instructions, and for helping individual students.
Each lesson was well-thought out and well
100% of the kids involved enjoyed the residency and would volunteer
Students were led to feel self-confident about their writing while at
the same time growing into new ways of thinking about writing.
I plan on repeating all of Alice's exercises, with modifications as
In fall of 2002, Evanston Township High
School engaged Ms. George as Poet-in-Residence; Alice worked
with grades 10-12, most intensively with Molly Moynahan's creative writing
and lower-level senior English classes. Ms. Moynahan comments:
Ms. George's poetry
exercises were excellent. They engaged the students in a number of ways
by including art and encouraging their natural voices. Ms. George taught
holistically and was extremely patient and positive..the students were
very engaged. During the poetry reading and slam...I recognized the
true extent of Ms. George's achievement. Students from every race and
social group participated...On a personal note, I really enjoyed having
Alice in my classroom. It was exciting to share ideas with her and she
was very mindful of the pressure on me as a classroom teacher. I learned
writing techniques I intend to incorporate into my lesson plans and
I had the wonderful experience of watching my students mature as artists
and human beings. Overall, Alice George did a terrific job.
In 2002, Glenbard East High School
engaged Ms. George as Poet-in-Residence; Alice visited 20 different 9-12
classrooms, conducting over 50 separate workshops. 100% of the Glenbard
teachers gave Alice George highest marks (“Very Good”) for
her ability to communicate enthusiasm for poetry and writing. 84% of the
teachers also gave her highest marks for effective brainstorming, clear
instructions, and for bringing new ideas into the classroom.
Alice has a relaxed, easy style that appeals
to the students...She timed everything just right and the students enjoyed
Loved the energy. Very easy to work with. Very natural interaction with
Very good examples...thanks for sharing your time and talent with us!
Alice George was Poet-in-Residence at Dewey Elementary
in Evanston in 2000-2001, where she conducted workshops in 19 classrooms
(K-5) and trained teachers. 100% of the Dewey teachers gave Alice George
highest marks (“Very Good”) for her ability to communicate
enthusiasm for poetry and writing. 90% of the teachers also gave her highest
marks for her presentation and modeling skills and individual tutoring.
Some comments from the 2000-2001 residency follow.
Anisha Patel, 4th grade teacher: “ With
Alice's transparent enthusiasm, she transferred her passion for poetry
to the students! We are very thankful for the poetry experiences she
opened up to us.”
Dan Postlewait, 5th grade, observed that “Alice did an excellent
job including topics already covered in class. Her communication with
me was outstanding-I really appreciate being given handouts!”
Cheryl Fallon, 5th grade: “I will be utilizing some of the poetry
writing you taught my students in content areas…..I loved when
you told them to let their writing be strange, serious and silly!”
Jessica Hoffheimer, 3rd grade: “I will absolutely repeat these
activities in the future. The hand-outs are very clear and easy to follow…Alice
inspired my students.”
in an afterschool program for at-risk students were asked what was fun
about Alice George's workshops:
Talking, writing and
laughing plus painting
Making marblized paper and collages..
The reading and learning
about your inner self.
Thank-you card from a
Bensenville 4th grader:
Thank you for helping
me make art. It makes me as happy as a rabbit in a truck full of carrots.
Letters from 4th grade students, 2004, Abraham
Lincoln Elementary, IL.
you go away, I won't forget poetry.
I sincerely hope
you can come again. You have made a difference in this school.
I had a wonderful
time with poetry. I also remember your favorite word was 'juicy.'
I never knew I was
so good at art and poetry.
I used to not like
poetry,but now I do because you taught me how to have fun while writing.
I think it was really
fun how you came to a lot of different classes. You are really good
at teaching people how to write the blues.
Anonymous surveys: 2004 (High School students,
Summer Advanced Creative Writing Class, Center for Talent Development)
different questions asked students to evaluate the teacher & course
content. In 19 out of 20, responding students ranked the class 2 or
1 (5 being the lowest rank, 1 being the highest). Answers receiving
almost unanimous 1's were "This teacher and this course made me
want to do my best work," "My teacher was enthusiastic about
this subject." On all but two questions, Ms. George received higher
than average scores, when compared to other classes in the same program.
Anonymous surveys: 2004
(Middle-school students, Creative Writing, Center for Talent Development.
This has been the most fun class I’ve ever taken outside of school!
This class has really sparked a passion for poetry!...has really helped
me grow as a writer.
I liked starting a poem in class and being able to go home and finish
it, add more to it, and revise.
I love the pantoums. When you write something in a specific form, it’s
easier to write things that you would have never thought of before.
It’s a lot easier for me to share my work here than at school
or even at home....a spectacular class.