Thursday, March 12, 2015

{#sol15} 12/31 Concrete Details
Join us at Two Writing Teachers
for the March Slice of Life challenge.
Share your stories!

Geoff Herbach visited my classroom today and worked with my Creative Writing students on writing with concrete details--you know--show, don't tell. The man was terrific with my group, some of whom like to write, so who only took the class to fulfill an English requirement. But he got them going. He got them writing. Best of all, he got them to share! And sharing out loud in class is NOT something this group does well.

He taught, he told stories, he found something positive about everything they said. He kept the slackers somewhat engaged, put up with the gigglers in the corner, and without knowing, gave a very shy girl some much needed encouragement.

During the afternoon, he met with kids in the auditorium. 9th and 10th graders one period and juniors and seniors the next. In both groups, I heard kids grumble. They didn't think they wanted to go, they thought it would be boring, lame, stupid (insert other teenage words here.)

But guess what? Within the first minutes, they were laughing. I watched the kids as much as I watched Geoff. You could see the "too cool for school" kids, the "I don't read, why do I have to go this" kids, the "who is this guy anyway" kids warm up to him as he talked. None of them wanted to be involved, they didn't want to like him. 

But they did.

He told the story of his life, reminding kids that they are the main character in their story. Don't let someone make you a supporting one.

He talked about his passion for writing, how he always wanted to be a writer, but others tried to take that from him (his dad told him he would end up depressed and in Canada if he became a writer). He told about friends and bullies and bullies who became friends (one is a school principal now and has made his school a safe place for kids). He talked about other jobs he did when he was trying not to be a writer (he wrote dirty jokes!). He talked about his writing and how things came to be written

But here's the thing I hope kids took away from the whole talk

Follow your PASSION. If economic activity is associated with the activity, then there is also a job associated with it. It might not be exactly what you think, but it will be something.

And isn't that a great thing for someone to share....

1 comment:

  1. What a message for the kids (and teachers too)! It will be interesting to see how kids follow up on this day.