My first encounter with literature was during my infancy. My mom had just become a curriculum director, but in the past she taught 6th grade ELA and had been a reading specialist. Her passion for literacy and recognition of its importance translated into a love a reading in me from early on. Ever since I learned to walk and talk I knew that I loved books and I loved to read.
Growing up I was that girl that was trying to read multiple different chapter books at once, lived in the library, and squealed with delight when the scholastic book order forms came out. There was one point in my middle school years where my parents had to refuse to buy me more books because I had multiple stacks that were about as tall as me.
Naturally a drive for writing came along with my love of reading. I remember not exactly loving writing as much as reading growing up, unless I was writing poetry. I loved to read books in verse and books of poetry just as much as I liked writing my own poetry. I thought there was something profound in the style of poetry that a person can use such a small amount of words to convey many important meanings.
Unfortunately, my love of reading and writing seemed to decrease in my later high school years and early college years. As soon as the reading and writing became required, structured, and academic I became disinterested. I struggled to find meaning in the writing I was doing which left me with a sour taste in my mouth. I knew that I still loved literature and I wanted to help my future students love it too. This encouraged me to keep language arts and ESL as my minors, but I realized I was struggling myself to get back that drive for reading and writing I once had.
That feeling changed when I started journaling. Inspired by the inability to talk on a silent retreat I was attending, I began journaling again. I began to realize that writing doesn’t have to be perfect, and truthfully that most good writing begins as imperfect snippets of a person’s brain. This realization came mid way through this class as I was beginning to lose steam. I came back from the retreat rejuvenated with my writing. I began to remember that I loved writing because it was a way to express creativity, get in touch with myself, and just calm down the storm of ideas that is constantly spinning inside my head.
I wanted to prepare myself to share that love with my students. In the future I want to use writing to empower my students and give them the opportunity to grow into their own creativity and drive. I want my students to understand that perfection isn’t attainable, but their best efforts will get them far. I want students to understand that the process (specifically the growth they achieve from that process) far outweighs the final product. I want my students to face failure and rather than getting upset, revel in the fact that they can start at a new beginning. However, I realized that I needed to learn these things for myself first.
These ideals are what inspired my work this semester which can be seen through my process and presentation portfolios. Although these essays are nowhere near perfect I feel that they exemplify my best process work and the growth I have experienced over the semester.