Permission to Create

I love my job.

I have been teaching for 12 years now, and while one some levels that is unbelievable, on others it feels almost as natural as breathing to me. I know that sounds really silly and maybe a bit cliche, but I was born to teach—in the classroom or in life, I can’t seem to help myself; if there is a lesson to be learned, I will try to teach it to you.

Whether you want me to or not.

So when I found out I would be teaching creative writing at my school this year, it was like being handed a beautiful gift. One that I treasured every single day since January.

Now don’t get me wrong, like all classes we had our ups and we had our downs, but giving students permission to be creative, unique and innovative in a world where standardization just about beats it out of them was refreshing for both me and my students.

Because the truth is, when we are kids we feel like creativity is our right, but as we get older it is almost as if we have to apologize for thinking outside that box.

That’s sad.

But when we are given permission to create, to think with our own minds, and to really explore what makes us passionate and excited…that’s when magic happens.

And magic happened this year, my friends.

At the end of the course…

  1. Students fell in love with writing
  2. Students found confidence in their own minds
  3. Students learned to give and receive feedback
  4. Students collaborated and encouraged one another
  5. Students became authors, and published a 250 page anthology of original works.
  6. Students became dreamers and learned to both build up AND compete with one another (well…this is a lesson we are still learning. It’s high school, after all).
  7. Audience, purpose, and tone became real as students understood for whom they were writing actually mattered in how they were going to market and sell their products.
  8. Students became teachers, and took me along for a pretty wild ride.

I have published two books myself now, and I am incredibly proud to have accomplished that goal, but I’m not sure that matches the feeling of having put together the amazing anthology for my students and watching them become excited about this journey we took together.

And that’s how I know I don’t just teach, I am a teacher.

So, I give you permission to create. Sculpt something, draw something, sing something, write something.

Because I believe in magic.

Do you?

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