Denver Charter School teacher Amber Daugherty helps her student Bejamin Catoe. Daugherty, who teaches the third grade, spends free time writing poetry.
Jenny Walling / Lincoln Times-News
DENVER â€” Writing poetry doesnâ€™t always fit easily into a teacherâ€™s hectic lifestyle, but Amber Daugherty has learned how to sneak it in.
The soon to be published third grade teacher at Denver Charter School entered a poetry contest on a whim.
â€œIt was just an off my head type thing,â€ said Daugherty of her winning poem. â€œI just expected it to be on the Web site.â€
Daugherty entered her poem â€œA Life Without Boundariesâ€ on the Web site poetry.com while looking up poems to share with her students.
A mere three weeks later she received a letter saying that poetry.com wished to publish her poem in a poetry journal.
Daugherty felt skeptical about the news at first. She assumed the company just wanted money.
â€œI did some research on it,â€ Daugherty said. â€œItâ€™s a legit group.â€
She soon shared the good news with her students, many of whom hadnâ€™t realized she was a real, live poet.
â€œI had never met a poet before,â€ said David Scoggins, one of Daughertyâ€™s students.
Daugherty, a young woman with short brown hair, didnâ€™t quite fit their image of a poet.
â€œI think of a guy with crazy hair like Einstein,â€ said Joey Redmond when describing a poet.
Joey, like many of his classmates, is proud of his poetic teacher.
â€œI think itâ€™s cool winning prizes for being what you are and doing what you do,â€ he said.
Inspiration can strike Daugherty when she drives her car or teaches class. She usually writes poetry only for herself and feels hesitant about sharing it.
She has, however, read a few of her poems to her students, some of whom didnâ€™t fully appreciate them.
â€œSometimes itâ€™s over their heads,â€ said Daugherty. â€œTheyâ€™re like â€˜OK, gross, itâ€™s about a boy.â€™â€
When the students spend class time writing poems they prefer to write about things like puppies.
Daugherty read them Dr. Suess as an example.
â€œIâ€™ve tried to write a few poems, but itâ€™s really hard to make up poems that rhyme,â€ said David.
The teacher hasnâ€™t succeeded in creating a love of poetry in all of her students.
Caleb Sadler, one of Daughertyâ€™s students, still doesnâ€™t like poetry.
â€œYou have to read, and I hate reading,â€ Caleb said.
Poetry, however, beats out books and short stories.
â€œI like it better because itâ€™s shorter,â€ Caleb said.
He appears to be in the minority in Daughertyâ€™s class. Many of her students say they love poetry.
â€œItâ€™s a fun thing to read,â€ said Kailey Hinds, a student. â€œYou can dream what it looks like and what it means.â€
Their teacher, a soon to be published poet, plans on continuing with her writing. She even finds inspiration from her small students.
â€œEven though theyâ€™re in third grade they still go through things,â€ said Daugherty.
Her next poem may be about loose teeth or an annoying little sister.by Sarah Grano