Inspiration & Students

Today, when we had our writer’s circle meeting, I talked a little bit about inspiration. I asked the students, “what inspires you?”

I did not really expect an answer, so I did not get one. It was asked in more of a rhetorical way. I’ve been writing daily for over four years. I know what inspires me and I never have to look far for ideas. I think I am fortunate in that sense.

Nature inspires me…

Nature inspires me. It should. I’m glad it does. I’m an environmental educator, after all. I have passion for what I do and take fascination in natural cycles, events, species, and seasons. I am like a sponge soaking up information and looking for ways to share and apply it. Those that know me well, know this about me. I am an information junkie, especially when it comes to nature.

We worked on our pourquoi stories today. As usual, I wrote along side the students. My pourquoi is on why tides exist. As I wrote, I used different characters than I had planned. I try to demonstrate un-perfection. It’s okay to change your pre-writing plan. The sun, moon, and wind wove their way into my story, as did the ocean and fish. I had planned to include “man” in the story as well and while humans are mentioned, they take a back seat in my story – man is a minor character – affected by what natural events are occurring.

Since pourquoi are often about natural events or why something occurs in nature, both of my student’s writing reflected their understanding of this story element. One chose the sky and birds to write about and the other chose thunder, lightening, and the earth. Both wrote almost complete, detailed, and logically flowing stories in under 15 minutes! Wow! For a soon to be fourth grader and soon to be seventh grader, I was, again, impressed.

Working with students

In truth, my students inspire me. I did not tell them that today, but think I will before our time is over. Today, marked the half-way point in our summer lessons that have been scheduled to take place over 8 weeks. It’s been going well and I know I will miss it (and, them) when we are finished, just before the school year starts up.

Of course there are other things that inspire me. I won’t spend time writing about them today. I’ll save those for future posts. Some of my regular readers can probably guess some of my other inspirations.

Right now, I am waiting for the loons to make their appearance as I write my post. August will be busy. But, I will spend some time this weekend contemplating my writing future – with and without students. I know working with them is worth my time. I just need to figure how I am going to make it work going forward.

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