Have you ever been given the commission to lead some young-uns and put them on a higher path? Well, I recently had that task when I attempted to teach the beauty of the writing process to a group of middle-schoolers.
And now, as graduation tassels are being flipped and summer vacations are in view, I see smiles for miles. They are saying, “We did it!” And I graciously remind them that they are successful because they are good students and they followed my guidance. Simple enough!
They followed my voice. My intonations. My examples. My formats and formulas. And, yes. our frustrations did surface on some days.
They had to write in longhand. They had cramping fingers and often did finger exercises. And, yes, to their shock and dismay, they had to use ink pens.
Here are some of the orders that I barked out on a regular basis.
“Yes, use a pen with blue or black ink. No green, red, purple or any other color!”
“No! No pencils!”
“Pencils are for math.”
“No, do not scratch out words.”
“I have two bottles of white-out on my desk.”
Some days, the entire room smelled like white-out as they carefully painted across their errors. I laughed to myself, but they were learning to be meticulous and conscientious.
And, could they write all the way to the right end of the notebook paper?
“There is a red line. Respect that margin!” my voice raised.
Will they ever forget the experience? Probably not. Because now they are begging to read their papers to the class.
Others are showing those who were absent how to write a perfect five-paragraph paper filled with discussions and supported by evidence from the text with page numbers.
This should get them through high school and college because they listened. And now, voila! We have a host of nouveaux auteurs or new writers! And who knows? There may be a few budding authors in our midst! Selah.
Lynn M. May 29, 2016