Though, I don't feel God calling me to teach in the classroom, He has given me a passion for teaching. In the future, I would love to go in to archeology and become a museum curator. Museums present a different and dwindling style of learning.
For now, I'm a teachers' aide at a preschool, a Creative Writing teacher to two fourth grade homeschool students, and a Sunday School and Children's Church teacher at my church. Even this blog has become a way for me to tell others what I've learned.
Through teaching others, I've learned more than I ever thought I would.
- I don't know as much as I thought I did- There have been countless times where a child asked me a question and my response was, "I don't really know." I know a lot, but I will never understand everything. It would be easy to say, "Well, if I can never know everything, why learn." But, the kids also reminded me that it's exciting to learn new things. The same goes with writing. I can always be willing to learn. Ask questions and look for the answers.
- They know more than I thought, and they have the ability to figure things out- I'm the kind of writer that loves to describe every twitch if the eye and stomp of the feet. Once at work, I was explaining something to a kindergartner. Using small words and big sentences, I attempted to explain how plants grow. "You mean, Photosynthesis, Miss Aly?" The kindergartner said. I was startled. That was exactly what I meant, but I hadn't expected her to know that word. I now know, to speak to them normally. If they don't know something, I trust they will ask. I have to do this with my writing too. Trust your reader while explaining with purpose.
- Showing myself as unique is huge-Every single one of us is different, but I've learned that kids love a "new" teacher. I thought this excitement would eventually go away, but it didn't. I realized that they always looked forward to my arrival because I had built the reputation of bringing something new. One day it was a storybook, another checkers, and another a giant coloring page of Olaf the snowman. I wasn't like any of the other teachers, and they thought that was awesome. As a teen writer, some people will want to read my stories just to see how a teen compares to the rest of the industry. It's important that am unique in my writing as well. Whether you write on a blog, write a novel, or construct poetry, being unique is huge. God already made us different, so just be you on the page.
Teaching and working with kids reveals a lot about how to come up with good ideas. But, I also learned that kids have bad days, and so do your characters. Sometimes, they just don't do what you want them to do, but there is tomorrow.
How have you learned about writing by doing something outside your story?