Nikki's Notebook

My journey as a fiction writer and a place for my projects, writing and otherwise.

The Privilege of Teaching Afterschool Classes

leave a comment »

Or: Why I know I could never be a teacher.

I don’t know how teachers do it. “It,” specifically meaning, be a teacher and a parent at the same time. I come home after working with other people’s kids all day and all I want is to lay around and be a blob. I don’t want to do chores, any cooking more complicated than spaghetti, or any extra work.

I do consider myself lucky to have the privilege to teach afterschool classes. They get to be fun. The kids want to learn about the topic (they signed up for the class, right?) I get to go with the flow and do stuff based on what the kids want to do.

Novel Writing sounds like this crazy ambitious class for 2-5th graders, right? It sounds impressive, but I have to say I completely winged it today. I didn’t prepare at all. I made it up as I went, really. It worked, though, because I’ve gotten good at this. Spread out in the halls and write descriptions of stuff without saying what it is. Return to the group and read your description so they can guess what the thing is! Now, free time to write your novel! Oh, you’re getting stuck? Let’s get back together as a group and discuss why you get stuck and what strategies you use to get unstuck!

And you know what? They had some pretty good ideas about how to get unstuck from a stuck place in writing. I love that in this class I get to have the kids give so much of their own input. I love telling them, “Do what works for you. Here’s some advice, but in the end, it’s all about what works for you.”

I also love that I’m still doing the Novel Writing Class, which I’d originally based around NaNoWriMo for the month of November and had planned to end in December with the end of the first afterschool session. I had to repeat it because all of the kids begged me to. I had them do evaluations and they asked for more writing time, to have the class on more than one day per week, and more chances to share and workshop.

Good quote from today, after I the kids said they didn’t really care to have free time for writing but I made them do it anyway:
“It’s weird, I never want to start writing, but once I do, I don’t want to stop!”

What a great coincidence. As I was drafting this post, I came across this article posted on Twitter by NaNoWriMo: Do You Write With Your Students? It’s semi-related to what I was writing in this post, and I like it.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: