After such a sustained time reading and responding to student work this past week without so much of the actual teaching, I needed something to remind me of the many wonderful reasons I believe teaching writing is almost as fun as writing. This piece, Dean Bakupoulos's "Straight Through the Heart" from the New York Times, serves perfectly:
Just as a chemistry student doesn’t want to lean back and watch an experiment in class, my students don’t like to be told to sit around and admire something simply because it is theoretically or historically significant. They want to formulate their own theorem, to write their own code.
By teaching the pleasures of writing our own stories, we remind them of the pleasures of reading and of the power of literature, something they may have experienced with Harry Potter but lost when they wrote a five-paragraph essay about Hawthorne.
And then of course there's that time, after I've come up for air the first time after fully immersing myself in the grading process, when I have to listen to something that reminds me what
it's like to be a young writer full of vinegar and blood, to want to break things
rather than tell people how to fix them, to be happysadangryandglad romaing the streets of NYC and writing every step. This (now-11-year-old!) song by Against Me! always does the trick: