October 14, 2015
Sean McComb, an English teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore, MD, shares a personal look behind his writing and teaching practice. This piece was featured on the Teaching Channel’s blog, Tchers’ Voice, and was his response to the upcoming National Day on Writing prompt, “#whyiwrite.” On October 20, everyone is invited to celebrate writing, community, and voice through the hashtag #whyiwrite.
On a personal level, it was at that institute that I first wrote about my mother’s passing away, seven years prior, when I was 17. For the first time, within that trusted community, I found the courage to confront the torrent of feelings I’d left buried. It was writing-as-therapy. It was cathartic. And through that process I was able to frame that experience in a way that helped me own it, and fold it into a larger personal narrative I could control. Others shared their own stories of heartbreak, of victory, coming-of-age, teacher triumph, and parental pride. We were vulnerable, honest, human. It was a gift.
We also transformed as writing teachers across content and age groups. From second grade science to AP English Literature, we created and shared professional development, made teacher resources, planned for our learners. We lived the power of becoming writers and designed paths to deliver that experience for students.
By Sean McComb
Interested in reading more? See the full article at the Teaching Channel.
For more information about the National Day on Writing, see information and resources from the National Writing Project and share your own response using the hashtag #whyiwrite.