A waterfall of words. A cascade of possibility. A pool of potential. On Monday, I introduced the Passion Paper, a semester-long writing project, to my students. For the last two days, they have worked, wondered, and worried over their plans, trying to find their own paths for the weeks ahead. At the end of the day yesterday, I asked kids to select a word that reflected their current states of mind with the project and discuss it in their Journey Journal entries. I then asked them to share aloud their words with the class. Above, is some of the stream that poured from their brains, sending resonant ripples dancing across our pond. All music. All beauty.
Yes, beauty, even the lost, the flustered, and the confused–especially the lost, flustered, and confused. Music that, for it reverberates; it speaks of kids out of comfort; it suggests fish out of water; it sings of opportunity to learn, to grow. In truth, this is new, it is different; it is uncomfortable. And that’s not in conflict with my goal. It is in line with my desire to push kids back to a state of wonder and curiosity, to a time before we “schooled” those things out of them. I want them to discover that again. But for many, they will have to first get lost, before they are found. And that’s not gonna be easy. So, I’ll help. Here are some words that I lent them yesterday as they wandered around.
“Step outside the educational box. Quit thinking this is an assignment to be turned in. Think rather of it as something to pursue.”
“I am not ‘grading’ this.”
“Quit asking me, ‘Can I write about…’ Instead, tell me what you are writing about. Anything, means anything. It is your choice, not mine.”
“Love, love, love that idea!”
“I can help.”
“By gum, have fun. Above all, let this be something that you wanna do.”
“I have no idea how long it has to be. I don’t care. It’ll be what is; you will get where you get come January.”
“Those who are lost can be found. Come see me.”
The list goes on. And so will the work. Some are indeed lost, and they may remain so for some time, and I will do what I can to help, but they have to find their way. Others are “found” and they are already cruising down their paths chasing passions, ranging from epic poems to “The Idiot’s Guide to Living with High School Drama” (not the theater). So many great ideas. So many paths. So excited for their discoveries. Honored that they are letting me tag along.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns
…explore complex sentences.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
Happy Wednesday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.