Charting the Course of Teaching and Learning in a Networked World
I never saw myself as a writer. During my school days, good work was read out loud to the class and the rest was marked up in red ink. Once, as an adult, I wrote something that someone said I should publish. I gave it to a person that I respected so much for feedback. He marked it up in red ink! I threw it away.
Today, I write mostly for me and I write about my life. I am also inspired by others who try to encourage instead of discourage writing. That happened when I accidentally came across the book by Linda Christensen called "Reading, Writing, Rising Up". It features the writing and words of students who would otherwise be so alienated from school that something like the study of poetry would be absurd. She made it relevant and from their words came honesty and truth and courage, something that before perhaps was shut down by the "red pen".
I no longer have to worry about a "red pen" so now I write as well. This is one of the poems that Linda Christensen suggested for her class and, as it turns out, it makes a deeply engaging template for others to write their own story. And so I did!
Read my version of "I Am From". Then find the template online for your class to do it as well. Perhaps you will want to do it as well or have your class do it as Ms. Christensen did as a way of really getting to know the kids you are working with.