Yesterday I went to Pollard Middle School, in Needham, to lead a fiction writing workshop with seventh graders. Two weeks ago I'd done a presentation; yesterday was the second part of my program. I loved speaking to the kids two weeks ago, especially since many of them had read my books. The wonderful Martha Matlaw, English teacher extraordinaire, introduced my books in class but my talk took place after school, for those kids who wanted to come. The result was really engaged and interested kids! But if I had to pick one of the days, I'd pick yesterday as the better of the two. Why? Here are my reasons: 1.) It's magical and thrilling, watching the kids write from my prompts, then listening to what they've written. They are always so good!
2.) It's more fun and I'm more relaxed (and less nervous!) when the focus is off me and on them.
3.) Middle school kids are the most interesting people I know and I love meeting new ones.
4.) It's inspiring, listening to what the kids can do with just a few prompts. I love thinking about what they might do next.
5.) I don't often get to spend time in middle school English classes. I love walking around, looking at the books and things tacked to the walls. In another life I would have been a middle school English teacher!