A Place For Teachers To Begin Writing

Childhood is a rich source of writing inspiration for all writers. For those teachers unaccustomed to writing for and with their students, it is a great place to commence.

It is that place and time in our lives when curiosity and experience collided and sparks flew. Curiosity was at its peak and experience was in short supply during childhood. It is where we all discovered consequences, painful lessons, joy and success, emotional legacies and the reality of our physical imitations. It is in childhood that we first don the ragged cape of invincibility only to be left holding a tattered remnant as we enter adulthood.

As a starting point for writing I encourage inexperienced adult writers to recall aspects of childhood as a place to dive into some writing. The range of experience is enormous –ranging from disappointment to triumph! The full range of human emotions condensed into those special years.

Starting in this place will assist you to connect strongly with the lives of the students you teach. It will enable you, the teacher writer to convey the importance of capturing those small yet significant moments in our lives, at the same time employing your senses to enliven the writing.

Should you choose to take up this challenge try to avoid the overlay of adult perspective in the early throes of your memoir piece. Considering the age of the audience, it might be more valuable to write from the inner child persona and place yourself in the time the event actually took place.
To further help you I suggest you consider the following:

• Your size in relation in relation to the world surrounding you at the time the event took place.

• Your knowledge or lack of it regarding the world and how it operates.

• Your feeling towards the various protagonists –parents, siblings, friends, perceived enemies and the rest.

• Your level of power in relation to the events that took place

• The discrepancy between what you think happened and the reality of the situation.

You may choose to write a follow up paragraph from your grown up self and briefly outline any effect the experience may have had on you.- any lingering reminders or the lessons learnt.
Remember, it’s just one way in to the writing that your students are grappling with each and every day. Think of it as Velcro, connecting you to the work of these developing writers.


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