Teenagers sat in stoic rows with willing adherence to classroom norms. Faces held the weathering of late nights, deep stories, eager learning, and self-becoming. I sprung from my swiveling chair after punching in attendance across the flickering monitor.
“Good morning, Creatives!”
The voice of experience enough to know wherever my energy lands, the students rise to it and maintain inquiry if I stay curious of them. So I charged the day with enthusiasm and sincere belief in each of them. My smile beamed and my silly red cowboy boots clicked more loudly than expected. I was weary from physical illness, but the students would not know so until the conditions were right to speak of me. This was their stage: a place to speak their lives and words, to own their stories and to communicate with new focus.
Creative Writing class, much like classes early in my decade+ long teaching tenure, became a place of expression, safety, and exploration for students.
Great are the dreams of those already tried in life by hurdles, but continually invited to make their future good. For all the teens I have watched become positive community members, active pursuants of their convictions, and adults I am proud to know, I add this gal to the list of the thousands of teens who inspire me. Well-done, Molly Fennig! (Click name to link to her book.) You embody the aspirations of students I have seen in the Mounds View Public School system.
For the numerous authors and aspiring writers I have worked with over the last few years, for the many manuscripts I have read and contributed feedback on, this writer (Molly Fenning) joins Ty Jansma, in being one of my students who have published their own work. I have enjoyed both of their books and hope they keep writing!
Like them, dear former students everywhere, from private schools in Michigan, to the collegiate level, to community forums, and now the Mustangs and Knights–keep finding ways to bring your goodness, dreams, and hard work to the world.