This post is excerpted from the book Creating Confident Writers: For High School, College, and Life by Troy Hicks and Andy Schoenborn (W. W. Norton, June 2020).
Perhaps one of our most important jobs as writing teachers is to help our writers understand that literacy is much more than reading, researching, and academic writing. For many students, the only real changes they see in their ELA and composition courses over the years are that the mechanical demands become stricter (with specific attention to MLA, APA, or other style guides) and the papers get longer. It is an unfortunate reality that turns many of those same students away from writing or, worse yet, forces them to see school-based prose as the only kind of writing that counts.
Continue reading “Given a choice, some students will choose to write poetry.”
By Brett Vogelsinger, republished with permission from Go Poems.
Since reading a poem is a daily ritual in my class, patterns develop in our poetry selections. One of those patterns—yes, a pattern students observe in much of the literature we read in English class—is that writers often tackle dense, heavy, depressing topics. Poetry is no exception. And I would argue it is important to bring these types of poems to our students.
Continue reading “As National Poetry Month Ends: Some Words of Comfort during a Pandemic”
However, we also live in an age of crushing anxiety, and each year I see more students struggle to maintain their emotional health. I want to be sure that English class, and particularly a routine that begins our class period most days, does not deliver a daily dose of doom. Picture the Pavlovian effect of that for a moment: Bell rings, gloomy poem emerges on the screen, discussion of humanity’s darkest moments ensues. . . what might be the effect of that day after day after day on our students?