Meaningful Connections in Your Classroom

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Every time we talk about the mechanics of writing or make suggestions about how to teach young writer at WWD, we always try to emphasize the organic, personal qualities that are at the heart of self-expression. When it comes down to it, it's important to make sure that these qualities are valued as highly as any kind of formal achievements made in the classroom or through the rigor of independent study.

Students are much more likely to appreciate the lessons of form, style, and content when they're able to identify with their material. And, over time, use their talent to give voice to original thoughts, concepts, and stories. Having a meaningful connection with your work is much more than the satisfaction or pride from knowing you did well on an assignment; it's also about it being something reflective of yourself and your experiences.

The same kind of emotional and intellectual breakthrough can be made between teachers and their students as well. As a teacher, consider it an opportunity to have a part in the world of each of your students as they grow and develop. It's a wonderful vantage point from where you can be an effective mentor, sent to teach English, but curious and invested enough to push for something more: to have a genuine, creative connection with every individual in your classroom.