Five Things I Learned From Teaching Family of Writers
Since 1989, I've been teaching evening writing classes in school cafeterias for students and their parents. It's the best teaching gig on the planet - all around writing joy, culminating in an anthology publication party complete with tasty treats. (Mary Poppins was right. Sugar helps.)
Over and over again, I hear that it's the best writing class folks have ever taken, but really it's not rocket science. I offer a writing invitation, parents and kids write together, we share our stories, and then I tell them what they are all doing well. We're all home by 8:00 so I can catch Survivor or some franchise of Real Housewives on Bravo.
If you dream of confident students who love writing, there is nothing more powerful than families huddled close, putting pen to paper, and sharing stories.
Here are five things Family of Writers has taught me over the years:
1. Lots of parents hate writing, but they will do anything to help their kids love writing.
2. Telling kids what they are already doing well, and creating a space where it's safe to take risks helps kids become confident writers.
3. The process rubs off on parents, and they rediscover the joy of writing, too.
4. Supplementing classroom writing with evening Family of Writers classes, makes teacher's jobs easier. Why? Teachers make it crystal clear that their students’ ideas and stories matter. And that begets big community. And big community begets parents who support teachers. And when teachers walk into a classroom feeling supported, the stage is set for fabulous instruction in all the other subjects they actually like teaching.
5. I used to think it was all about helping kids become better writers, but, really, it's about creating blocks of time so families have the opportunity to share the legacy of their stories. Stories are the humanity-driven, sustaining energy that keeps me inspired year after year.
Contact me to learn more about bringing Family of Writers to your community. It's my dream to bring this program to every state!