When your students beg you to write
and leave the classroom talking about writing…
When they email you at night to brag about their plot,
and participate in online forums with other young writers
(which is not a part of their grade)—
When parents say to you, “he won’t stop writing”
and you overhear “sometimes you just gotta kill a character to make it good”
and “who told her that the bell rang?
Who ruined it for the rest of us?”
When students who have struggled to write a paragraph spin plot,
and other teachers ask you what you’re doing,
because your students won’t (can’t?) stop talking—
When students tell you their characters were in their dreams…
You know you hit on something powerful


The NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program is going along fabulously in my classroom and I am so happy I decided to give up control over my writing lessons this month to actually let students write what they want.

Next month, when we start revising and editing and shaping their wild ideas? I might regret this. But right now, my classroom is full of wild wonder. It is such a contrast to the testing-numbers-ranking-filing that we are expected to do. When the computers come out and the tap-tap-rapping starts, a weight is lifted, and the room is filled with an eager, excited energy.

I went into teaching for this.