Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Secret Connoisseur of Stickers

I love when I can have a piece of writing serve more than one purpose.  

This past month I have been spending much of my writing energy -- at least the writing energy that isn't dedicated to noveling -- on poetry.  After all, it IS national poetry month.  Most of my poetry writing has been inspired by the daily prompts over at Ethical ELA.  Today's prompt (using the idea of "secret connoisseurs") not only captures a slice of one of my favorite classroom habits, but also just one of my favorite things in general: stickers.

"To My High School Student Sticker Collectors"
The sheets slipped out of my desk:
fishes and phrases
plants and platitudes
a veritable menagerie of mayhem
that on a whim I will bestow.
Each mark, stamp, and sticker
a sign signifying my secret:
you were in my class,
you were my student,
you were in need
of a sticker to be let loose
on the world.

Perhaps it began with an errant star
shiny, glittery foil perched neatly 
beside the accompanying 'A.'
Or else it began with a shifting mood
watery, anxiety clear as day
I unfurl a streamer and ask:
"Which one would you like?"

Slapped on shirts,
affixed to appliances,
or bound to books
each one labels clear
the connoisseur of stickers.
And though they peel
or fade or eclipse,
there are enough to share.
"Do you want a sticker?"


  1. I haven't used my stickers as much this year, but I love giving them out to my Scholars. Your students are so blessed to have you. Stickers are fun, and they show that you are fun, too. I hope your students recognize your fun side. Great Slice.

    1. I fluctuate between stickers as a reward and stickers "just because" and we can all agree that stickers ARE fun. I even have some students come back to visit and get them from me.

  2. Good poem construction. Something that surprised me in student teaching was the response even high schoolers had towards stickers. Even some of the the students who are completely indifferent to classroom discussion or activity they do respond to stickers. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I was surprised at first too. My students practically collect them like badges now. Sometimes I give them out as rewards othertimes it's a "just because" practice. I joke with them that they will always know who had me in class because they will carry a bunch of stickers with them. I believe there is a cycle to it. Elementary kids love stickers, middle schoolers think stickers are dumb, and then in high school they develop this love for stickers again -- same with college students I think.

  3. Ohhh, the joy and usefulness of stickers. I love your poem so much, but the phrases "a veritable menagerie of mayhem" and "I unfurl a streamer" were my very favourites. Thank you for this. :)

    1. Thanks, Karen! I'm pretty proud of that menagerie line as well.

  4. Stickers are such a cool thing. Another of my favorites: rubber stamps. I love 'em. I mean, students love 'em. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    1. I haven't gotten into rubber stamps...yet. But I've seen some cool things with them.

  5. Thanks for sharing memory of your collection, the variety of stickers and their description, very vivid. Writing a memory in a poetry form is great. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I love the unabashed love inherent in your use of stickers. You always inspire.

  7. Ah, stickers. I think all ages love them. They are just so fun. Great poem!

  8. Yes, please! I'm still a sticker girl. I love these lines:
    "a veritable menagerie of mayhem
    that on a whim I will bestow."
    What lovely gift to bestow. I love that you have high schoolers who still love stickers.