As an English teacher, I have always had a unique opportunity to see a side of my students that many won’t see. I get to see some of their innermost thoughts and feeling as my students express themselves through their writing. Writing is a very real way that students can find out about themselves as well.
Meg Roscoff said: “Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are.”
I am a firm believer that writing can also help ease pain and suffering. Writing is cathartic and can bring peace to an otherwise troubled mind and soul. It can change your outlook as you begin to see things from another perspective.
In my English class, as in any, my students complete several writing projects. My favorite writing project is something I call the “Awesome Writing Project.” Students are encouraged to list anything they think is awesome, and then expound on five of those “awesome” things and develop their ideas of why they are awesome.
There are several reasons why this has always been a favorite unit:

  • It gives the students a chance to find their voice.
  • It gives them freedom to write about what they love.
  • Maybe the most important is if forces them to look for the little happy things that we may never notice without them pointing them out.

Teaching this unit in a residential treatment center for the first time was amazing. I loved seeing my students’ perspectives change. They changed from struggling to find something to write about because they couldn’t think of anything positive, to having a hard time narrowing their writing down to the maximum length.
Isn’t that wonderful?
I loved seeing their eyes glow when they were explaining to me just why their awesome thing was so awesome, but most of all I love seeing the change in their faces when they begin to look for the awesome things in life.
– written by SuAnn Davis, BS, English Teacher