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If you read her story, you’d see that she’s knows quite a lot. Other students awkwardly flirted with substance through their work. Years of attempting to answer this question for myself yielded easy answers: a creative voice, a body of work, a unique thematic interest, etc. Many of them hadn’t had their hearts broken yet, or driven a car, or even detached from their parents long enough to see who they were when no one was watching. They had disparate experiences, different ideas of what stories were, and sometimes, quite a bit of antagonism for one another. I climbed back onto the sofa with my eldest brother ready for some serious sleep.If I wanted to teach these kids to write effectively as a group, I had to start by instilling a uniform set of values for their work. The answers I drew became the basis for my entire teaching methodology. A few moments later, I heard my mother cry out in a small, strained voice.
Even if you’re not sure anyone will read your work, when you submit it to a journal or hand it off to a close friend, you at least hope that they will.
Writers want their work to have meaning, and that’s impossible if no one reads it.
on the board, it meant more to them than my syllabus suggested.
Writing was a way of life for them in a way that I’m not sure I’ll ever emulate. Another student wrote a story of three siblings on the eve of being evicted from their home.
As you may gather from my posts on this site, I am a huge fan of ego in artistry.
You have to think that your take on things would matter.This impulse in writing, to beg the question and explore what we don’t understand became the basis for the first tenet of my pedagogy.They pinpoint what puzzles, scares, or angers them, and they explore it on the page.I walked into my classroom with a big smile on my face, happy to educate the masses with my great wisdom.This folly of my own positivity led to the third and final tenet. It asks the subject to lower themselves in relation to peers.It was my attempt to work through my own mortality.If my mother could simply die one day without warning, than what did that mean for the rest of us?When a student wrote or read an assignment aloud, I always posed my second question: Honesty and tenacity is what sets the most talented writers apart.Once I arrived at these two theories, I can admit that I felt accomplished.Teenagers have the rest of their lives to tackle form and style. Yet, I dotted that last i, printed it out, and handed it to my mother.I wanted her to know how I felt, and in doing so, presumed that she would actually care.