Sunday, March 29, 2009

Young and Restless Writers


Yesterday was one of those fun days when a whole lot of work pays off.  The Teacher Consultants of the Shenandoah Valley hosted a Young Writer's Workshop at Shenandoah University.  It wouldn't have happened without the support of the staff at the NVWP offices at George Mason.  Mark Farrington and his student staff did all the behind-the-scenes paperwork that gets the kids, parents, directions, fees, and publicity together.For overworked classroom teachers, that is the only way that an enterprise like this could take flight. Thank guys.
And Young Writers Director Erin Hubbard was the uber-organized leader of NHS volunteers, an accommodating schedule, and Teaching Consultants from surrounding schools that made the morning run with precision. 
On a rainy, wet Saturday, 22 fourth through twelfth grade students trekked, sometimes from long distances, to pursue their interest in writing starting at 9 a.m. on a Saturday!  From nine to one they were prompted to record their imaginative wanderings and share them with their peers.
It's teaching heaven.  Rewarding work for those who often labor throughout the week before an unwilling audience.
And grown ups too, were a part of the fun.
Parents were welcomed to a free workshop on supporting their young writer.  Later they could sit in on a workshop of their own to develop inspiration for personal writing projects.
In the adult workshop, I found inspiration from my own prompts for a writing that has already begun to take shape.  Writing in a room of silent, scribbling writers IS inspiring.  In the summer institute, in my own classroom, in workshops, there is an energy that isn't matched when sitting solo at a computer all alone.  Writing in community is a powerful muse.
How does that work?   Hmmm......