By Parker Lawson – Since I’ve been in college, I’ve found that I LOVE to write. How cool is it that we can put what’s in our heart into WORDS?! Like… uh that’s amazing!
Words are so COOL! Words can dictate our mood, they let us communicate, and they are an invitation to expressing ourselves (Wow, how nerdy did that sound?). Back in school, I never really understood the power of words. There is so much that we can gain from hearing others’ words and from expressing our own. I am no perfect writer, but I don’t think I became fully appreciative of the ability to write until this year, after reflecting back on my old English teachers.
My writing is better when I am able to write about what I find most passionate. Creative writing is something I’ve come to love, and I’ve found that when I write about what I want to write about, I become a better writer. The only way to become a better writer, is to sit and WRITE. I think so many people wonder why kids hate reading and writing, and I’ve realized that this is because kids aren’t learning how to LOVE writing or how to LOVE reading.
In order for any passion to be sparked in these kids, they should be reading and writing things related to what they love and with no restrictions. Now, I understand the importance of a class curriculum, but I do think that if more teachers integrated personal techniques that would engage students in writing, we could change kids’ mindsets on writing completely.
English teachers are so cool. The majority of my previous English teachers have been beyond amazing, and I will forever be grateful for their enthusiasm for English. Some of the most passionate teachers that I’ve ever had were the ones that taught English. For a while, I always wondered how on earth they got so excited for words… for heavens sake; it’s just a book! I used to think that in order to be an English teacher, a bubbly attitude, and obsession with books was an absolute requirement. Now, I completely understand their love and need to write.
I had my okay English classes, but then I had my AMAZING English classes. What separated the two was the teacher’s passion. The classes that I loved had teachers who wanted us to love writing too. I’ll never forget the first time I think I really learned that I had a love for writing. My 7th grade English teacher did an activity every so often that was beyond cool. She would turn off the lights, and play music. She then prompted us to write what we felt: a memory that reminded us of that track, specific words… anything that was in our hearts at that moment. I’ll be honest, that activity has stuck with me for years. THAT is how we learn to love writing. THAT is how we engage students in the art of words.
I love writing for ME. I think journaling is one of the best ways to become a better writer. Not only is it refreshing, but journaling is also a constant expression of imagination. This is what we need in our essays, and our assignments. One of the best pieces of advice that I’ve ever received was to put yourself into everything that you do. This absolutely applies to writing.
I struggled with this idea during those long nights of procrastination, when my King Lear essay had eaten me alive, but I’ve come to realize that even though we cannot submit our daily journal as our essay, we can use experiences in our lives to help us grow as writers. If there’s a particular part of a novel that spoke personally to you, write about that! If you’ve had experiences that have lead you to compare to that piece of writing, write about that! If there’s a certain format or style that you like to write in, practice that! By simply placing yourself into everything that you write, writing becomes enjoying. I heard that piece of advice from a previous English teacher whose love for writing was like no other, and whose contagious passion has forever stuck with me.
I am no brilliant writer, but what makes writing so exciting for me is the ability to express my ideas with creativity and passion. I am an awful speller and make multiple grammatical errors as I write, but the excitement and the joy is there. If it weren’t for those amazing English teachers that gave me this excitement for writing, I think I would still dread writing essays and would have never even thought about daily journaling.
To those rock star English teachers: Thank you for teaching with excitement and for teaching with passion because that is how I came to love writing, and I hope that one day I can show my students the value that words have in our hearts, the way that you have showed me that love. You ROCK.