This is the time of year the hard work of teaching provides small dividends —
students staying after class to talk about college plans, dreams, and ideas.
Yesterday provided opportunity for bravery in Creative Writing:
students on center stage as they share pages from their favorite writing pieces —
fantasy, children’s literature, poetry, mystery, and more.
I realize — this would have been difficult for me as a teen, and yet — many of my students have written through life’s deepest pain and grief and loss and we talk about surviving tragedy and being that voice — allowing the death of a loved one to shape us as we lean into the emotion, as we begin to heal, and to learn how to write real characters with authentic trials.
My students have overcome fears this semester (namely writing in general, sharing that writing with others, and reading gracious feedback encouraging them even when they don’t have kind inner-voices). Many of these kindred spirits are also introverts.
So students shared and we laughed and cheered.
And then there was that moment they asked me to share what I have written and I realize they honestly cared what I had to say. We had time for a page or two, and I stepped into their space of celebration for a 3 minute read of something I wrote years ago.
They applauded and then we talked about next year when my younger students take Creative Writing 2 class from either me or my buddy who teaches in the next classroom over. They were excited!
One student even asked if he should keep writing in the summer.
Always! Of course, yes, always, whenever, write as if your hair was ablaze and you’re paddling the rapids under a blue summer sky or it’s New Year’s Eve and you’re counting the moments until midnight.
My hope is they write for themselves, for the love of the craft, to learn what they think as they write, to become changed people as they create, and as a result find some of their deepest holy moments on the page.