Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
– Cyril Connolly
In this case, I’m writing for what I believe in and what others believe in as well. I’m writing for everyone (even those who may not understand what cutting a program like NWP would do to educators and students all over the country now and for years to come). I’m writing because I cannot sit by and not say anything while an amazing program is cut…especially because I have seen how writing has opened up opportunities, imaginations, and futures.
An example of how the power of writing helped one of my students:
“Sara” was a quiet girl who sat in the back of my classroom. She was new to the school of a little over 1000 kids and was so shy she’d hardly speak to me. However, writing changed all of that — specifically, blogging. I created the space for her and her peers to voice their thoughts/opinions in a less threatening way of directly calling on them in class. To my surprise, Sara became one of the most vibrant voices in my classroom. Suddenly she was so engaged, challenging her classmates’ thoughts, and actively voicing her own — not only on the blog but during our in-class discussions, too. I told Sara how proud I was of how much she had grown in the course of the few weeks I had worked with her. She just smiled and said, “Yeah, it [writing/blogging] is pretty cool.”
Writing gave Sara the opportunity to find her voice. Writing gave Sara the space to use her imagination to engage deeply with the texts we were covering. Writing gave Sara the confidence she needed to have to understand that that her voice mattered. (And this last point is probably one of the most important things we can help our students realize, in my opinion at least.)
Sara is just one of the many examples of why writing matters. There are also tons of posts, articles, tweets, and research notes around us showing why the NWP matters. You can read more of my thoughts here and here. Be sure to show your voice, too, and support #blog4nwp. (Again, Washington, here our voices!)