52. Teaching spoken word poetry with Britta B

How might spoken word poetry ignite a passion for writing, language, and performance in young people? Today on the show I speak with spoken word poet, Britta B.

Britta Badour is a spoken word poet, performer, emcee, voice actor, mentor, and teaching artist. She is also an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph. I first saw her perform–more than 10 years ago–at the Toronto Poetry Slam. She has since then made a living out of words, writing, poetry, and inspiring creativity. In this episode, we talk about Britta’s creative process, the importance of mentorship, and the reluctance of self-identifying as a poet. You don’t have to love poetry or slam to get so much out of this conversation. I hope all teachers who include writing instruction in their classes can hear this interview as a framework for how to help students become better, more confident, and braver writers. 

This is a really good one that I am so excited about. Enough intro, let’s now hear from Britta B. Click on the Soundcloud link to hear the full episode! 

My three key takeaways from this conversation are:

  1. Mentorship matters: Britta saw her own potential as a writer and a leader because her teachers let her know what they saw in her. Be that teacher for your students! 
  2. It is essential to have a community of people to support us with creative endeavours. How we make our classrooms this community really depends on us! But it also doesn’t have to be in the classroom–look around and see what other communities might exist for young people to develop as writers that we can connect our students to: clubs, programs, or workshops outside of the class
  3. Representation matters. If students are going to see themselves as writers one day, bring in working professionals who exist in the world of words to your classrooms. Ensure that the writing you share with your students includes a broad array of voices, formats, styles, and backgrounds. Students will only see possible futures for themselves if they actually see them. 

Things Mentioned in this Episode:

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