Poetic Power

A Creative Communication blog

Featured Teacher: Lauren O’Shea Logan

on September 11, 2015

Lauren teaches at Triangle Day School and has participated in our contests since the spring of 2013. She has had over 50 students published in our national anthologies. Additionally, two of Lauren’s students were selected as Top Ten Winners in our Spring 2015 contest. This means that out of several thousand entries submitted into the contest, Lauren’s students were selected as having one of the ten best entries in their grade divisions. Swati Sundar was a Top Ten Winner in our Spring 2015 national essay contest for her entry, “Assumer or Understander.” Jacob Pinto was a Top Ten Winner in our Spring 2015 national poetry contest for his entry, “The Uselessness of War.”

We asked Lauren to share with our readers what has helped her to find success in the classroom and keep students motivated.

9B7A0453As a 7th and 8th grade Language Arts teacher, I am faced with the challenge of engaging students to write.  The majority of kids come to my class feeling like inadequate writers, or that writing is a chore.  Arguably, this could be due to the contentious nature of middle schoolers, yet I believe it’s because so much of their writing goes unnoticed, save for teachers.  So many wonderful pieces of writing eventually find their way to the bottom of locker.  Engaging students to write, and to enjoy writing, begins with a personal relationship in the classroom, an exposure to different styles of writing, and an opportunity to highlight their craft.

Developing personal relationships with students requires a lot of listening, and an acute awareness of their worlds.  By understanding personalities and backgrounds, teachers must offer broad topic choices which will motivate students to write with enthusiasm and precision, even for the most structured writing assignment.  Kids want to write about topics of interest and personal experience.  Additionally, as students begin to learn different writing styles and techniques, teachers must draw upon these interests and experiences, so they can make challenging assignments relevant and to differentiate in the classroom.

Most importantly, however, providing an opportunity for students to highlight their work is pivotal.  Whether a school offers a poetry reading night at a local coffee shop, a literary magazine or school newspaper, or an opportunity to become published, students engage themselves in the challenge, and always rise to the occasion.

Creative Communication has been essential in helping me engage my students in written personal expression, creativity, and thought.  These kids are proud of their work and leave for high school feeling like good writers…..because they are!

You can read another example of how Lauren highlights her students’ work by reading Triangle Day School’s blog on a Poetry Night that she hosted for her students by clicking here.  Thank you to Lauren for all that you do to impact students’ lives and help them become life-long learners!

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To learn more about our national writing contests, please visit www.poeticpower.com.


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