Honoring Our Interests

Describe an interest that you had as a young person, whether or not that interest was recognized as learning in school. Write or make something about it that you can share with others … Tell us about what might have piqued this interest. How did you pursue that interest or what did it make you think about? What and who supported you as you dove deeper? In what ways were your interests connected to school, or not? What were the implications?

As a young child, I was extremely interested in writing.  I wasn’t a good writer.  I could barely spell, and wrote as many words down as I could; viewing quality as quantity.  I remember having such a passion for writing.  Although this interest was certainly recognized in school, I enjoyed writing more at home.  I wrote lots of letters, and in my journal.  What piqued this interest for me is that this form of communicating was how I coped with the loss of my mother at a young age.  Instead of talking about how I felt, I would write letters to my teachers, or write in my diary.  When pursuing my interest in writing, I would feel better.  I felt that as long as my thoughts were somewhere other than stuck in my own head, I was good.  I thought that as long as my ideas were out on paper, I could clear my mind and all the feelings that I had were validated.  Sometimes my teachers would write me letters back.  I thrived upon the idea of having someone hear me, and respond.  Now, as a teacher, I realize the demands of teaching and how time consuming it was for my teachers to take the effort and reply to me.  I was certainly a “needy” child, wanting my teachers to notice me and give me attention.  My teachers certainly supported me, even though I’m sure it wasn’t always easy.  Although my interest of writing had a school connection, it mostly was a personal/home issue that started the comfort in writing.  Later in life, the implications of my interest is that I truly think I am a better teacher because of my love and need to journal.  I take the time to get to know my students, and I feel that I do a good job establishing a class family, and a personal bond with each of my kids.  Over the years I have been known to get the “needy” students who may have lost a parent, or are going through a tough situation.  Although I am still not a “good writer,” I do feel that it is, and always will be, a strength of mine.  When things get messy, I often take a pen and paper and go somewhere to sort everything though.

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