Maybe it’s because I’m currently spending my weekdays with 3rd graders, but I’ve decided that I want to form a class out of my teen bloggers and spend every day teaching them.
Wow. I just said “my” like I had something to do with their work, which I definitely don’t. Sorry, teens.
Actually, almost all teachers tend to develop that habit. Maybe you’ve noticed it in my blog already. “My students”, “my teens”, “my kids”. But when we teachers say “my,” we aren’t trying to take credit that isn’t ours. Rather, we’re expressing a dedication to our students that’s sometimes hard to explain. They aren’t just the students that I happen to teach. They’re my investment, my life’s work in human form. I belong to them even more than they belong to me.
Since I’m not working with my own teens in the classroom right now, I’ve become more interested in the teens of the blogging community. Seriously – if I could form a student body out of the teens here, I think I would be teaching my dream class.
Picture it, teen readers. Can you imagine the discussions we’d have? The inside jokes we’d form? The passionate-but-respectful debates on character motivations and social ethics? The creative juices that would flow in that room, the ideas that would develop, and the projects we could create?
I’d look up that recipe for butterbeer I saw once on YouTube and make it for us to drink while we discussed the character development in Harry Potter. We’d make fun of how teen-angsty Romeo and Juliet is and then get all creepy-psychological with Macbeth. We’d do free-writes based on that prompt book I found at Barnes & Noble, with results that would be sometimes deep, sometimes hilarious, and sometimes inspire discussions so intense that I’d throw out my lesson plan for the day just so we could keep talking. We’d each bring our passions and interests to the table and research them together, learning more about ourselves and each other in the process. We’d push each other to be better writers, to not settle for “fine” and instead strive for powerful, moving, and world-changing.
As I read each blog, I picture that class. I see the class clowns, the quirky drama nerds, the motivated youngsters, the ambitious seniors, the compassionate friends, the socialites, and the down-to-earth workers. I see their thoughtful intelligence, passionate zeal for life, and ambition through their writing. I know I’m privileged to have that glimpse into their world and I’m so thankful for it.
It would have been easy for me to become complacent about my career during this year of relocating every three months, since I can’t invest myself in any one school or student body. It would have been easy to just coast on my subbing until I can look for permanent work again. I started this blog as a place to give voice to my ideas while on the move – and I’ve done that. But blogging has done so much more for me, too. Through blogging I’ve encountered all these incredible teenagers who have fueled my passion for my work even more.
I thought I’d end this post with the roster of my dream class – all the incredible teen blogs I follow. This is by no means a comprehensive or exclusive list. Please let me know if I missed any of you, or if there are more that I need to add to the list. Maybe I just haven’t discovered your blog yet!
The anonymous teenage girl; anotherteenagegirlblog; Awkward, American, and Angsty; BawkTalk; BlackBirdSpeaks; Cackles.From.A.Mad.Duck; Ciara-Marie!; Dear Teen of Grace; Defeating Dragons; defineemily; Elixir of Memories; Generation Challenge; Have You Seen My Glass Slipper?; henadoesstuff; Insatiable Before Death; The Little Things; Little Sweet and Sour; Love, Hate, Life; My Momentary Vow; My Never Never Land; Never Stationary; The problem with society; Super Opinion8ted; SydneyJoTo; The Quiet Voice; Teenage Dream…; Teenage Enthusiasm; Tell me, when will my life begin?; The Turn of the Earth; Wondering, Fearing, Doubting