A Tale of Two Classrooms

School has started! I went back to school August 1st; students returned to school yesterday. I had 80 new eighth graders to meet, greet, and convince that reading and writing are important. Their perspectives run the gamut of voracious readers and creative writers to those teenagers who loathe picking up a book or stringing written words together. So, some of them walk in the room full of enthusiasm and smiles. Some of them walk into the room scowling and full of teenage "attitude." I spent the day attempting to engage them and encouraging them to give me a chance.

I left the school building, jumped in my car, navigated down I-25, and 45 minutes later managed to find the beautiful Erie library without too much difficulty.

My second classroom of the day was set up with laptops for only ten students and had an impressive 90-inch display screen for me to play with. The library staff had provided a scrumptious snack table with an assortment of cheeses, grapes, crackers, and sweet breads.

This group of students were probably all a bit older than I am -- definitely a change from the first part of my day! Only seven students arrived, but they generally seemed happy to be there. The second biggest change from the first part of my day was the obvious trepidation of some students with the technology. Some of these folks were embarking on a more challenging journey than my teenagers...who seem to be born with an electronic device in hand!

After two hours of engaging with a delightful group of aspiring writers, I began the long ride home. I had left home at 6:45 a.m.; I arrived back at home at 9:00 p.m. I was completely exhausted, but completely happy. Teaching writing brings me joy.

I can't wait to see what my students of all ages create!

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