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Finding a Muse

In one way, shape, or form, I've had Sacred Writing Time (an idea borrowed from the National Writing Project) in my classroom for two years now. While the 10-15 minutes have been a struggle these two years, I've been thinking more and more about why I set aside that time and why I'll dedicate even more next year.

Choice motivates, but it's difficult. As a writer, I can count the times that I've started a blog post but stopped. (There are approximately 30 saved posts awaiting elaboration.) Students go through this same frustration when they write in our classrooms. But how often do we actually give them time to consider the topics that are relevant to them?

Most recently, I went on a journey with my ninth graders. Wanting to deviate from a more prescribed essay prompt, I unleashed choice. Their first quickwrite was in response to a Kid President video, where I asked students to continue this sentence in a list: The world needs to have a conversation about ______________.

For me, at least right now, the world needs to have a conversation about creating writers. Are our students leaving our classrooms with the motivation and ability to find inspiration around them? Are they able to identify their own muses for written expression? Are they able to take nothing and make something?

My students are still working on this, and I know I've made so many feel uncomfortable and lost along the way, but that's the joy of writing, isn't it? It's that feeling when you've wrestled and become so frustrated that you want to give up, and then you find your topic. It's this joy that I hope many are walking out of my classroom six weeks from now thinking about.


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