Teacher, teacher!Â What are we going to write about today?
Working for â€śWriters in The Schoolsâ€ť, WITS is one of the best jobs I have ever had. I love the job because it gives the writer the freedom to expand. The writerâ€™s imagination lives without the pressures of preparing a student for the test. It lives without the demands of having the child to produce. The child grows at his/her own pace. They discover their own voice first before working towards the mechanics of writing. When a child is just waiting at the door for his class to start, one knows, one is doing something right.
Sir Ken Robinson in his book â€śOut of Our Mindsâ€ť wrote, â€śMany educators want to provide a more balanced and dynamic form of education that makes proper use of their own creative energies. Too often they feel they cannot do any of this because of political pressures of conformity and the disaffection of students who suffer under the same malaise.â€ť
When I was doing the after-school program at â€śThe Chicano Community Centerâ€ť I had kids who looked forward to coming to my class. In fact, the writing class became the opportunity, a reward for those who behaved. They would not be allowed to go into my classroom unless they followed and cooperated with the staff.
These were some of my happiest and most successful teaching years. The coordinator trusted my work and the kids loved to come to my class. So, what was different about it that helped the students and I become successful?