Bring personal expression, creativity, and relevance back to your ELA classroom.
The day I realized my son and daughter could not recall having written one poem or piece of non-academic writing in their entire high school careers was the day I clarified my thinking about my own teaching.
Don’t get me wrong.
My kids’ teachers were excellent educators. They followed the standards and placed the focus where they saw fit: solely on academic writing. And while my children do write well, they do not enjoy writing.
That’s why I believe that as a teacher, I must find the balance between the academic and the creative. ELA teachers must not merely teach writing, but instead, create writers.
To that end, students need memorable, creative opportunities to fully grasp the power of expressing themselves with words.
Personal expression — and by extension, creativity — must be a driving force in my classroom. What’s the point of learning in-text parenthetical citations, how to write a literary analysis, or knowing how to summarize a text if one feels no personal connection to those tasks?
Whether we’re reading or writing in my ELA classes, we are always mindful that what we are really doing is finding our own humanity… expressing our personalities, tapping our creativities, and digging for relevance to our own experiences within the texts we read and write.
You can teach creative writing AND prepare your students for college and career. Let’s learn and share.
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I’m interested in your story!
Please contact me to let me know about creative ways you’re teaching ELA to high school students. I am especially interested in the following:
- headline poetry lessons and activities
- writing contests for middle school and high school students
- American classics and diverse text pairings
- jaw-droppingly (that’s a word, right?!) effective writing lessons for middle and high school students
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