Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Teenagers and writing

I have been teaching creative writing for about six years now.  The things my students write can be revealing, intriguing and by far inspiring. Many start at the beginning of the year just writing about the frustration they feel about a friend's actions or the awful/amazing feeling they have about the person they are dating. But as the weeks progress, the writing gets deeper.  They write each day, and each day they are a step deeper in making a writing corner of their own.  The student begins to see what is behind their writing; they grow and what comes out is magical, not because suddenly there is a Pulitzer prize forming in the room, but because they have grasped some essential understanding.  Instead of writing about their frustration, they write about frustration.  They examine it for its bitter taste, sallow color, caustic odor and suddenly they know frustration.  I love that day and the days that follow.  This week two of my writers graduated and I wept to see them go.  My last words: don't forget to write.


Nic Bast said...

I can relate to this a lot. Of course in the teenagers POC :) My english class is one of my best classes. Mainly because my teacher is just outright amazong. If you are a bit like him then your students shall never forget you and your teachings. oh and I've always wondered. How is it, I mean being a teacher? is it any fun? Of course every teacher says, the best feeling is when you see your students working hard and doing great but what about the other stuff aside? Do teachers gossip aswell xD I mean it's a social environment, they must right?

L. Darby Gibbs said...

Hello Nic,
Teaching is a lot of fun, especially in creative writing class as the students in that class choose to be there. They write on their own and look forward to prompts and other writing activities. There is much about teaching that is not so fun: grading can be both good and bad because seeing a student not try is always disappointing, but it is also a challenge. When the student begins to respond and improve, it brings a sort of joy hard to describe. Being overwhelmed by all that must be done is a common teacher issue, which I know students also feel at times.

You asked about gossip, and I cannot speak for all teachers (they are just ordinary people too), but I do not gossip and haven't the time to socialize. I teach, plan, grade, research, parent my own child, love my husband and enjoy water skiing and reading, so gossip just doesn't have a place in my life.

You English teacher is lucky to have a student who already values what he teaches.