Thursday, April 19, 2012

"I Am Not Invisible"

I read many student pieces in the course of a year.  Many attempts at honesty. Many attempts at poetry. Many attempts at storytelling and personal memoirs.

Never have I become so engrossed in a piece that I quit reading it as a teacher and just read it as a reader.  But, this morning, sitting in my comfy pink chair in the front of the room, I dropped my Flair and read an incredible piece of writing.

A memoir told in verse, (17 poems, to be exact.) this student revisited a dramatic incident from her high school life last year.  She recounted her side of a story that everyone in the building knows. She told it honestly, with no excuses for her behavior. Just the reasons.

She showed through her words how she has grown through the experience. I understand why she doesn't regret her choices. I applaud her for standing up for herself.

I laughed. I cried. I cheered. I am in awe. It was truly the most fabulous piece of student writing I have read in a very long time. I wish I could share it with you all.  It teaches lessons far beyond her experience.

It haunts me still, hours later. 

I can't get it out of my mind.


8 comments:

  1. It's a beautiful, powerful, and yes haunting piece. I am stunned by her maturity in writing as well as her wise stylistic choices. It's just awesome. There aren't words to describe it.

    What a wonderful teacher to give her the freedom and opportunity to write it.

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  2. Special time for her, special for you who know her, who have guided her in some kind of skill in order to choose writing for that sharing. Thanks for telling us, Deb. A good thing to happen, it seems.

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  3. Do you think the chair helped you get out of teacher mode? Maybe, but it sounds like you had a writer that was truly writing with her own voice and not with a contrived one that so many writers have to try on before they become themselves (me included). How wonderful that she felt safe enough to tell her story! How wonderful you got to be a part of that sharing.

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  4. I know that you feel lucky that you got to read this piece, but make sure you also do a little happy dance that you helped breathe this piece into being. I wish I was across the hall from you so you could just walk over and hand it to me to read. It sounds incredible. Good for both of you!

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  5. How awesome that you enabled her to tell her story and that she trusted you enough to share it! Thanks for sharing the experience with us.

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  6. Oooo, the best kind of writing. It stays with you for good or bad, whatever reason, it is that moving. Glad that your student had the opportunity to be this honest. You have obviously created an environment that made her feel she could do this. I hope it was healing for her, whatever the circumstances.

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  7. Wow. Will she let you share? Were you able to share wit others at your school?
    Ruth

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  8. She has let me share with several teachers she feels close to. Every time I go back and read it, I am still astounded at the honesty and how well written it is. I wish I could share it with everyone just so they see for themselves the power of writing. We are trying to create an independent study for her next year, combing her writing with her art. She is a wonderful artist and photographer also!

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