This semester I decided to center our class around the theme of autobiography. I've been bringing in different examples of autobiographical work that include short stories, poems, and excerpts from full-length books. One of my students, I'll call him D, was immediately engaged at the thought of writing his own autobiography. The very first class, he opened his notebook and started writing pages of work, all while participating in discussion and reading the texts that day.
D has always been an amazing student. He loves to read aloud, share his work with others, and participates beyond expectations with all of my writing assignments. Sixteen years old, people! All of this, dealing with the everyday distractions you might expect with a high school class in an adult jail.
We're four weeks in, and yesterday, D approached me with 25 pages of writing, filled with stories from his childhood. It's been such a pleasure having him in class, and reading his work was probably the most rewarding experience I've had so far teaching in this program. I've already bragged about his work with my peers and friends, but I thought i'd share the title page with you all, complete with a self-drawn cover! I can't wait to see what comes next from D. If it's another 25 pages, then we've got a serious book in the making!
Thanks for reading. I'll be sure to keep updating the blog with progress from D, along with work from my other amazing and talented students.
Mike Bennett, Words Without Walls Teaching Artist