Hey! You know me…I’m the guy who helps you analyze stuff. I devour facts. Just the facts M’am. Not big into imagining–if I can see it, I might believe it…if it makes sense, that is. I’m your planner extraordinaire! I help you write all those lists and we check them off twice. I thrive on order and familiarity. Change? Okay if not chaotic–has to fit, make sense. Things need organizing? I’m your guy. Control! Neatness! Order! Logic! That’s ME!
Hey! You know passionate, emotional ME! I’m the guy who leads you to that art museum to dwell on all that beauty. I urge you to pick up that paint brush, to fill that notebook with sketches, to take that woods walk just to feel the crunch of the twigs beneath your feet, to wiggle your toes in the sand of that beach and think of nothing beyond how great it feels. I’m your creative SELF–I’m all the colors of the Earth just waiting to be discovered by you. Intuitive, Imaginative, Boundless, Emotional ME!!
Teachers—do you balance your teaching styles? Are you a left and right brain teacher? Do you encourage the creative spirits as well as demand the logical-mathematical responses from your students? Do you allow for many avenues along which students can show you what they know? (Thanks Ashley–for the L/R Brain image!)
IF you are a writing teacher...How did you start your journey? Are you a hostage–you HAVE to teach writing? Or, are you a cheerleader for all who write? Do you write yourself, or “just teach it?” If you were given the choice tomorrow, would you gladly hand off the job of writing teacher to another “unlucky” faculty member, or would you shout, “No way am I giving this up!!” Do you (as author Gary Paulsen says) “read like a wolf eats,” because your muse is fed by reading good books, good writing? And, why are these questions important, anyway?? I guess I’m curious because I know the buy-in to writing that is necessary for the passion-driven tenacity to happen in students. I’ve seen fabulous writing teachers in K-12 schools who inspired students to take risks and write, who listened closely, encouraged their words, and took risks to share their own words. I’ve also seen teachers who shouldn’t have been there. If you are reading this blog, found this site through intentional or random searching, you are probably a writing teacher a middle grades student needs. Hoping so.
My oldest brother is a talented bread maker–all things bread…pretzels, bagels, rolls, popovers, muffins, and of course,…bread. I have both envied and marveled at the process and products of his labors. I have also stood right next to him, observing, asking questions, prodding him for the secrets to his success. As a writer and teacher of writers, I can stand back from my thirst to know and learn his talents, and understand that what appears to be effortless truly is not; he has worked the better part of his life at becoming the master that he is. I see a parallel between his craft and the craft of writing. Time, dedication, practice, trust, risk-taking, imagination, intuition, and tenacity are elements common to the craft of artisinal bread making and to the craft of writing.
Do you have other “metaphors” for writing???