However, the best part of my writing life lately is watching young writers bloom underneath my tutelage. I have carefully created real-world situations where students have an audience besides me, a teacher. They now see the larger world as their audience. They are crafting words with purpose beyond a grade. That's been my goal in teaching, but this is really the first year that I could make that happen on a larger scale. I've been working up to it, but this year is the year that all of the magical pieces fell into place.
I have Creative Writing students begging to spend more time with their NaNoWriMo novels...that was in November, yes? They are begging to spend more time writing in January. I won't hold them back. They alone know when their story is complete. I can't answer that really, which is why I haven't "graded" those stories. I'll look for progress and over-arching story arcs, but they will know when they've reached success.
My language arts students just completed blog posts and comments on books. I've encouraged the staff at my school and their parents to also read and comment, to foster a reading community, to say something to our students and children. I once had an author write a comment back to a student on his blog post. I still do a happy dance about that.
Here are the links, if you'd like to also play a part of our real world community.