My creative writing class is in the middle of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) with a goal per student of writing 20,000 words or more. For Junior High School students that is an amazing accomplishment! As their teacher, I am mostly a spectator/encourager this month as my twenty students spend their class time on computers tapping out stories, each of them immersed in their own “dream” world. One student loves poetry and blogging so she is making a compilation work of her poetry and blog posts. Confined to a wheelchair and blind after a freak complication left her with a brain injury after a routine tonsillectomy three years ago, Hope is an inspiration to me as well as the rest of the class. I listen to her narrate her poems to Dawn, her teaching aid and “scribe” and I am blown away by her creativity and passion for writing. They are the only two voices I hear in the classroom. The only other sound is the tapping of fingers on keyboards, as my young writers determinedly write their own stories. Once in a while a student will giggle or gasp depending on the plot line they have masterminded. A student will quickly turn to another student and ask hurriedly, “I need a word! How do I say….?” A brief discussion will follow and the tapping will continue. It’s brilliant!
As a teacher, it’s wonderful to see my students engaged enthusiastically about something in the classroom. As a writer, my heart is full to see students who love to write!
At the end of the class, I can’t help but eavesdrop at their conversations as they put away their computers. They share what their fictional characters are about to do next, or how they wrestled with a villain or discovered a secret passage, or had a heart wrenching breakup…bits and pieces of plotlines that pique my interest. They are future authors, one and all!
Hope passes me and smiles widely as her assistant pushes her wheelchair from the classroom. “I wrote another poem about horses!” she says. Writing transports her from the confines of that chair and into a world of limitless possibilities and endless imagination. I can’t help but feel that I am watching a miracle develop in front of my eyes and I humbly thank God for allowing me the opportunity to witness it first-hand!