Writing the Curriculum, ahem, Writing. Writing the Writing.

And here we are. The beginning of another school year. I get so nervous the night before, I can hardly sleep. Eight years into teaching and still…

But this year there is something new: I am “teaching” a Creative Writing class. I put ‘teaching’ in quotes just there because it is not the same as other classes. I am dancing (dueling?) back and forth between freedom and structure, and I am in the middle: an emotional wreck.

You wouldn’t know it in class – I seem (I think) to have it all planned out, to have a vision, but really I am sticking a toe in, withdrawing; tasting, testing, spitting it out. Questioning myself a lot.

Prompts, genres, lessons, free writing, feedback. It seems against creativity to put a framework to it, a schedule to it, but I also know that’s a lie. Discipline, learning, trying things outside of our natural tendencies – these are all good for creativity. So is a bottle of wine and some jazz on low in the evening light – but I won’t bring that into class. Ha.

I’ve brought flowers in and am putting pictures on the wall:

Ryan Sheffield Art

Maybe some beanbags? A tea station has been requested…

But how do we warm this cold, cinder-block-public-school-room with words? I’ll keep looking…


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