Peggy and Jim: Ode to Joyce Kilmer – Let’s go Paperless

From Discovery Educators Peggy Barger and Jim Hopton:

While attending and presenting at a recent teachers’ conference featuring best teaching practices and strategies, we were surprised by comments from one of the organizers.  He rated a workshop session by the amount of paper handouts given to participants.  The organizer proudly waved a stack of paper three inches thick from a workshop he attended.  However, at our workshop, we distributed three sheets of paper and a CD jam-packed with our ideas, rubrics, posters, and unitedstreaming connections.  Perhaps our world is in need of an Extreme Digital Makeover.  As educators we should be the leaders in moving toward a less papercentric environment.

Many teachers will remember, from their youth, the famous poem by Joyce Kilmer which begins: I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree…  Check out the poem in its entirety at

Please forgive our feeble attempt at re-writing Joyce Kilmer’s poem. We feel trees are best left to nature and poets, not sacrificed as handouts at conferences.

I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.
Save a tree – make a CD – use technology! 

PLEASE comment or add a verse of your own.


Related posts


  1. Larry Haywood said:

    Going paperless is probably the thing to do,
    But going with unitedstreaming is what really works for me and you!

  2. Alan Rafail said:

    Unitedstreaming has helped our Driver’s Ed curriculum!!! I have found videos and clips to help young drivers understand the value of safety without boring them with a long video. I researched what it would cost the district if we bought the videos and it saved us $1400.00 The cost of two student computers!! Thanks Unitedstreaming.

  3. Lyndall Lawrence said:

    When I first started teaching
    Teachers did all the preaching.
    Worksheets kept them busy
    but they put some kids in a tizzy.
    Now the things we have learned to do
    That technology helps both me and you!

  4. Mikki Chesney said:

    I always felt intimidated by computers — but my buddies have taught me to e-mail, use talking e-mail and now I am writing for a blog. How cool is that!! Thank goodness for friends who are patient and don’t mind teaching not only the students but their co-workers, too.

  5. Connie Rossi said:

    Worksheets were often used by fools like me,
    Only Peggy and Jim inspired my use of technology!

  6. laura perri said:

    Ilove to keep a paper trail, however, it is more important to love a tree. Save our forests, use technology. Have you hugged your computer lately?

  7. Stevie Kline said:

    Hi Jim and Peggy,
    I agree we need to try to really use the new technology in our classrooms. Just think 2 wonderful things can be done at the same time, teaching as a teacher of the 21st century needs to teach and helping the environment at the same time!
    Your choice of poems brings back memories of my 5th grade teacher Miss Maude Smalley. She would be very proud of you two. She made it our class mission to save a tree somewhere in the forests of PA. We memorized Kilmer’s poem, when our pencils became dull, we were only allowed 2 cranks on the pencil sharpener, and we wrote on all spaces in our tablets both front and back before being issued a new one. A tree would be saved!!
    How far we have come. Pencils and tablets and film strips have been replaced by gel pens, computers, and digital videos from unitedstreaming. The possilbities seem almost endless.
    How exciting!!!
    I think that I shall never be, a tree that has to now worry
    About becoming a tablet or pen, thanks to the vision of Peggy and Jim

  8. Marie Pogue said:

    I am employed in a elementary school as a clerk I run the copy machine for the entire elementary school I have used aprox. 5000 sheets of paper today so far understand elementary does need to have paper work for our children. When I attend comfrences that waste paper on handouts that are just filed or eventually scaned to a disk it is to me waistful. I highly agree we should use tecknology for as much as we can because I am not saving many trees in this department.

  9. MC said:

    That is so true. Usually all of the papers that we get at inservice end up tossed because i have nowhere to put them. A CD is much more valuable. This way we can look up information as we need it and it is much easier to store.

  10. Colleen Valosen said:

    I love to sit under beautiful shady trees to read…think of how
    many trees stand to be saved by new ways of getting our ideas across to our students!

  11. Jamie Williamson said:

    I agree! My life would be much easier if my IEP paperwork was all completed on the computer. I love spending time on the computer and hate writing. My vote is for a paperless world!!

  12. Susan Tretinik said:

    I hate to disagree
    you see,
    but I’m not cut out
    for technology
    so that is why
    you see
    I’d rather waste a tree!

  13. Rick Brichetti said:

    Late last night I found myself dreaming,

    Of the many exciting uses of unitedstreaming!

  14. Carmen Richter said:

    Save a tree, buy a PC. (and take CPT 150 at Westmoreland College to learn how to use it)

  15. Bonnie Mylan said:

    Poems are made by fools like me,
    But even God could use a CD.

    (If He had Peggy and Jim’s assistance with Professional Development) You did say Extreme Divine Makeover didn’t you? It just goes to show that Technology is out of this world.

  16. Swinchock said:

    Paperwork + Desk + Multi-tasking = One Unorganized Mess! Paperless allows me to keep my important documents, files, reports, presentations, etc available to me at the drop of a hat through my PDA or laptop. As information changes and evaluations are needed to be made on the fly, paper is no longer a viable solution for adequate response time if for nothing else! I’m sure this electronic metamorphosis is undoubtingly frightening, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the desks of the faculty member that prints everything!!! THANK YOU NCLB. Give me the virtual world any day!

  17. Rebecca said:

    Peggy and Jim have helped make my classroom a positive “technology environment” for all learners.

  18. terri leone said:

    Dearest Jim and Marguerite,
    I’ll make this short and sweet…

    I’m with you…save the timber
    else we shall ne’r remember

    The bliss of fresh air!
    So we do need to share…

    …our great forest and trees
    and finally start using cd’s.

  19. Janice Howard said:

    I’m from the old school
    But I have to say
    I DO use less paper
    Than yesterday

    Jim and Peggy
    I agree with you
    Less paper and more technology
    Is WAY overdue

  20. Janet Cunningham said:

    Hey Peggy & Jim,
    Make like a tree and leave… all that paper behind.No more paper announcements, no more lengthy trips around the building to relay messages. We love The Discovery Network’s Unitedstreaming and so do our students!

  21. Barry L. Mylan said:

    We as educators are continually incorporating more technology into our curriculum. We are teaching our students the importance of becoming more technologically proficient in order to prepare them for the challenges of today’s world. I can’t understand why any professional educator would preach this message to students and not practice what they preach.

  22. Joey Hardy said:

    Save a tree!! 🙂 I happen to love technology, unlike some of the JM Staff (hehe).

  23. Tammi Byers said:

    Jim and Peggy
    I agree
    with saving trees
    and thanks to you
    Janet Cunnigham just taught me
    How to do this blog “thingy”
    I’m so behind on technology
    and maybe my vocabulary!

  24. Jeff Donaldson said:

    This morning I didn’t even know what blogging was, but now I know and I think it’s great! Write a blog and hug a tree!!!!

  25. Melaney Dufalla said:

    Technology, technology,
    No more paper beyond page 3.

  26. Priscilla said:

    Yes, Paperless is the way to go. I’ve tossed countless handouts from inservices past. CD’s make more sense. However, not everyone is comfortable with technology yet.

  27. Sue Tracanna said:

    I certainly agree that receiving a CD loaded with ideas etc. would be much more beneficial than receiving yet another pile of papers. My file cabinets are full!!! Wonderful ideas that I’d really like to use get lost. I vote for using technology to help manage our files…. And of yes…..I’d certainly like it if everyone would do their part in saving the trees. TECHNOLOGY instead of TREES!!!

  28. Donna Dolan said:

    In this age of new technology why are we still in the ancient realm of paper people-save our trees-use CD’s-fantastic!

  29. Billie Balazick said:

    I work in a life skill classroom the technology we use helps to keep the attention of our students much more then paperpushing.

  30. Sandy Simatic said:

    I agree with Peggy and Jim. Save a tree by using the computer. You are so limited by paper and pencil…whereas, with a computer your only limitation is your own imagination.

  31. Bethany said:

    Hey! Your blog looks great! It’s awesome to see So many people putting their keyboards to use!

  32. Matthew Cunningham said:

    Hi Mr. Hopton & Mrs. Barger,
    Unitedstreaming helped me find interesting information on an author. Thanks for sharing your technology with my mom. She finally stopped nagging me about the way I study.Its OK to chat on-line, play video games, and do homework at the same time. She keeps calling me a millenial???

  33. Jodi said:

    I agree with making a CD and saving a tree. I would rather scroll through the information I need on a CD instead of a packet of papers. We have all of these resources and we are still getting packets upon packets of paper. Great Job!

  34. Patty Johnson said:

    Good luck, Peggy and Jim. Thanks for your many efforts in guiding me toward the use of new technology. I may be retired from teaching, but I will never retire from learning.

  35. Mardanna (Barger) Soto said:

    Working at US Steel, communication must take place with the 3,000 employees at the plant in Northwest Indiana (not to mention the other plants across the country and in Eastern Europe). Making 3,000 copies of plans, procedures, policies, safety contacts, environmental bulletins, and etc would not only deplete an enormous amount of trees but also be a HUGE expense for the company. That’s why we have so many systems in place to allow communication via the intranet, common servers and databases. Learning the values of technology at an early age will allow these young students to be great future leaders and innovative thinkers.

  36. Rolando Soto said:

    If paper must be used, remember to always recycle! We should save the trees in any way we can!

  37. john arredondo said:

    How intersting as I would agree,
    Lets all save a tree,
    and burn a cd!!

    Good luck!

  38. Tammy Watreas said:

    Beautiful poem. Keep saving those trees Jefferson-Morgan!

  39. William Beck said:

    Jim Hopton and Peggy Barger!

    I am so proud to know two people who truly embrace technology and make it work for Jefferson-Morgan!

    Public Education is working at Jefferson-Morgan!

    William Beck

  40. Debbie Hice said:

    I agree with going paperless keep up with the good work. You have our support.

  41. Chuck Alcorn said:

    I agree 100 percent. More, bigger, and/or brighter does not mean better – but I guess that’s better left for another thread…

    Moving away from paper toward using CDs would save not only trees but would cut down on all of the pollution that is created while converting those trees into paper. Use rewritable CDs so they can be reused instead of discarded. Or, put the content on-line and save the resources that are used and reduce the pollution that is created to manufacture CDs and CD cases.

  42. Lisa Domon said:

    Hey Kate and Jim,
    I’m all for paperless. Let’s keep saving those trees!

  43. Sandi Guritza said:

    It’s time for my daughter to play her violin.
    It’s time for my son to put the trash in the bin.
    I look far and wide,
    And yell really loud.
    Oh where could they be?
    Hiding at the top of a tree!!

    Save those trees!!

  44. Rick Brichetti said:

    Late last night I found myself dreaming,
    Of the many exciting uses of unitedstreaming.

  45. Sandy Simatic said:

    P.S. How do you think all of those handouts were created?!? Now, just take it to the next level…that’s a DARE!

  46. Erin Virgili said:

    I am well aware that producing paper products consumess an excess amount of trees-but keep in mind that the large paper producing companies do replace the trees they cut down with new trees. If you have ever driven thru Georgia or North Carolina you might have noticed tree forests- grown specifically for paper production. I do enjoy the innovations of modern technology, but a hard copy is still a good idea:considering the world of computer viruses and system failures.

  47. Lisa Faddis said:

    I couldn’t agree with you more-children are bored with paperwork these days, but when we put them in front of a computer they come alive! Keep up the great work!!!

  48. Lisa Faddis said:

    I couldn’t agree with you more’ Today’s kids are BORED with paperwork, but they come alive when we put them in front of a computer. Keep up the great work!!!

  49. Skye Metheny said:

    Peg and Jim,

    I read your article. Support you 100% for saving Trees. Keep up the good Work.

    Metheny CPT 150

  50. Renee Seratelli said:

    I recycle every little piece of junk mail, cereal box, newspaper, you get it. I live in Jersey and trust me, we need to save trees!! Could not agree more Aunt Peg, sorry Russ.

  51. RJ Stangherlin said:

    About 5 or 6 years ago, at HSTW Southern Conference, I presented “No Textbooks? No Problem.” It was all about a paperless classroom, which began out of my frustration with an outdated textbook–no multicultural voices, few to no female voices–your typical anthology of 20+ years ago. So my love affair with technology began with perhaps less-than-noble reasons: economics–zero growth budget; a bulky heavy textbook that students “forgot” regularly; a computer lab that was going [back then] unused. For a year or two, before I could convince teachers about what they were missing out on, I had almost a Lab English class. Now I have to share, and that is a work in progress.

    But, to get back to an earlier strand, when I presented that year and the subsequent year, what did I do? You got it: I gave out thick paper handouts. But you have taught me well. Now I distribute mini-cds. I’m saving trees but probably doing something I shouldn’t in the world of plastics.

Comments are closed.