Prior to a visit, the poet and teacher get in touch by phone or email to negotiate logistics and expectations. We recommend you address all of the following:
- The location and timing (school address, the poet’s approximate travel time to and from the school, the total time available to work with students (remember that a poet’s visit can last up to three consecutive hours), start time, instructions for entering the school, room number(s), end time)
- The teacher(s) who will be present during the visit (N.B., one teacher must be present at all times)
- The work the poet will be doing with the students (writing workshop(s), a reading with a Q&A period, performance coaching, etc.)
- Information about the students (how many students, what grade(s), any previous poetry studies)
- Any preparation the teacher should do with their students prior to the visit (read the poet’s bio and one of their poems, read a discussion prompt that will kick off the poet’s work with them, etc.). Please note that it is the poet’s responsibility to bring in any materials (including photocopies) that the students will use during the visit.
- Poetry In Voice asks all teachers to screen our short introductory video for students prior to a poet’s arrival. The video puts an exciting, contemporary spin on poetry and previews all of the great resources we have for students on our site.
Prepare for a Virtual Visit
For virtual visits, in addition to the above recommendations, the teachers and poets meet to:
Identify which platform (Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, etc.) will be used. Be sure to discuss the following:
- What access and limitations do students have to platforms (YouTube recordings, Meeting/breakout rooms, etc.)?
- Are there any special access needs required (ASL, closed captions, etc.)?
- What are the rules around privacy (recordings, screenshots of students, etc.)?
- Determine the setting: Will students be in a classroom with one large screen, on their own devices joining from home, or a combination? How will the students be able to see you? Will you be able to see the students? How will you interact with each other?
- Create the virtual meeting: Either the teacher or poet must now schedule the meeting using the agreed platform. Remember, your visit date and time has already been agreed to. If a change is made to the date or time, Tessa must be informed, or you will receive incorrect visit reminders from our system. Note: if the teacher creates the visit the poet may not have access to all virtual platform features.
- Exchange cell phone numbers in case there is a problem.
- Do a test before the visit to iron out any issues.