"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Maya Angelou
About a month ago I started preparing for my new school year and this quote popped out at me. One thing I want my students to realize is that we all have something to tell others whether it is a heartbreaking story of loss or a story of love---parents finding love after a bitter divorce or the day a new puppy arrived in the home and all the stories are important. The story doesn't have to be painful, heart wrenching, or over the top filled with excitement. What matters is telling the story. What Ms. Angelou wants us to realize is it is painful to not tell others the stories in our souls and hearts. There is no greater celebration to watch than a group of writers who have put a small piece of themselves on paper for others to savor and enjoy.
Some of the ways I plan to begin are simple
1) Writer's Notebook Creation: Set aside a few hours at the beginning of the year to create the notebook so students have a place to cherish their words.
2) Create a Community: Build a sense of sharing within the class community so all feel safe to share their stories that are essentially a piece of their heart.
3) Brainstorm: Show students ways to brainstorm the stories in their heart by listing important people and places in their life.