Last Night’s Dream

I had a dream last night.

It wasn’t MLK-worthy. So maybe it’s not okay to paraphrase his most famous speech. But I actually had this dream (and maybe he actually had his, too — perhaps I’ll ask him if I get to heaven someday).

In this dream, I was teaching. But it wasn’t a school — more of a big house, and a large community feel. I had one student who was having a really difficult time writing. Eventually, he found something important to write about, and he got to it.

I don’t remember what. I don’t think it was important to me — it was important to him.

Then, we were looking in a mirror together. The only thing of him that was reflected was his head. And he was fascinated by it, practically giggling.

You see, before he had found the drive to write, he had no reflection. He saw nothing of himself.

Once he began to write, he began to find himself. For the first time in his life, he was able to see himself reflected back at him. And he did this through his writing.

The metaphor is so strong here that it’s barely a metaphor at all. Are we giving our students opportunities to find themselves in their writing? Are we helping them see themselves in a new way through their writing?

If not: what are we waiting for?

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3 thoughts on “Last Night’s Dream

  1. I wish I had such profound dreams, Brian! My seniors are working on memoir multigenre projects and we’ve been conferencing over their project proposals. So far I’m excited and touched by their topics and the direction they’re taking their projects. I hope they see this as an opportunity to find themselves/express themselves.

    • I must have been influenced by some of Penny Kittle’s podcasts. She is such a strong advocate for student writing — especially memoir. I love the multigenre memoir idea. I really hope your students take advantage of the wonderful things they could do through that.

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