Here are the safe, familiar, authoritative terms that I suspect that I am not alone in offering to them lesson after lesson: lesson objectives, assessment objectives, feedback to improve essay responses etc. None of these are stimulating words to me, and yet reading a great piece of original writing makes fireworks go off in your brain.
Some of my students have a dream to be writers. And I had that dream too. Fourteen years ago, in between the dole and my second real job, I wrote a novel, sent it to publishers - no, no, no, and now it's in a padded envelope in our dark, damp garage.
Going to the NWP writing group in April 2016 changed the relationship that I had with my own writing. We did some free writing together and I wrote about my Grandad. I shared it with the group, reading too fast, my hands shaking. Someone told me that I wrote poetry. And I never knew that.
Then I thought, if I'm a poet, I should write a bit more. So I did, everyday. Six months later I get the opportunity to work with an English teacher and prose writer on the NWP writing retreat. And I thought: prose, can I? Only turns out that I can, and I'm starting to push my own writing boundaries.
Writing with the NWP, I'm rediscovering English as a creative art, and myself as a writer. By sharing this approach with staff and students in my school, we have a small community of writers who are only starting to reveal their magic. Now that is exciting.