18 Mar Slice of Life: Not for the Writing, For Your Life #SOL19 #TWTBlog
For so long I believed it was important to teach students to live a
I think once you experience writing for truly personal reasons you realize that living a writerly life is not for the writing but for the life. When you live on the lookout for moments that are worthy of your consideration, you live a fuller life. You notice more, appreciate more, feel more and connect more with those around you. It may seem like writing is hard and some days it is. But when you give yourself to it, without worry of other’s opinions, it is such a gift.
I worry that in school, writing is a bit too focused on the product and not the process. I want our young students to experience the gift of writing for one’s own purpose. I want them to have the time and space to explore their questions, feelings, beliefs, passions and worries. When you put yourself on the page you push yourself to grow and discover new aspects of yourself. When we over-scaffold our students so their product looks how we think it should look, we are not giving them the opportunities they need to discover and experiment. They need to try things they are not ready to do and gloriously create a mess. This mess will help them discover what it is they really want to say.
I feel the tension between helping our students meet standards and find their voice. I know both are essential, but I believe our students will show more growth in the long run by valuing purpose and voice. If we know we get better at doing something by doing more of it, then it seems to me if we help them find their voice and purpose, they will do it more and subsequently grow more as writers as well. Jennifer Serravallo says, “Without engagement, we’ve got nothing.” I truly believe this. If we engage them in the process, they will become more proficient and they just might also live a more engaged, happier life.
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers, and teachers here.