I learned from my senior English teacher, Mrs. Goodman, to challenge students to find their writing voice. When the students are empowered with the freedom to identify who they are in a piece of writing, I have found that they passionately engage.
My favorite book to teach, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, is the same book that made me fall in love with reading and writing as a senior in high school. O’Brien’s storytelling technique unlocks years of personal guilt, loss, and love. This book serves as a catalyst to push students to courageously capture their own stories through writing.
So simple, but asking questions that matter to a person and then really listening are so important. Seeking to understand someone else’s experience and trying to live in the person's world can make such a needed difference for everyone.