Written by: Derrick Engoy

To say that my first week teaching Creative Writing to high school students was amazing would be a tremendous understatement!

But using the word “tremendous” would be a perfect start.

Our journey, this semester, will be under the direction of using Creative Writing to help students discover their voice and find ways to articulate what’s on their minds and in their hearts in the midst of the various injustices they find themselves in on a daily basis. Our curriculum, not only will help students find their creative voice, but will also foster better critical thinking skills as we dissect various Spoken Word pieces and classic poetry. The two combined will, ultimately, provide a basis for healthier navigation tools in the face of the “tremendous” challenges these students face in their communities.

From immigration issues to gang violence and from education to bullying, these students have already collectively voiced a tremendous excitement to develop a more healthier alternative to express themselves within the plights they find themselves in.

And, in an effort to better discover their voice, the students’ first writing assignment: Streams of Consciousness.

The students, each day, will begin with 15-minutes of “free flowing” writing. They’re not to think too much about their writing. They’re not to worry about grammar or spelling. They’re not to even think too much about their writing making any kind of sense. Streams of Consciousness writing is simply about allowing your thoughts to flow onto the paper.

When asked how their experience was, many of the students expressed a sense of freedom. They found that Streams of Consciousness was a lot easier than first anticipated. Many of the students didn’t realize they had a ton of ideas to write about.

They felt a sense of release!

Week one is in the books and I’m tremendously looking forward to the next thirteen.