My students need 70 journals to learn the importance of making mistakes and making a mess!
Have you ever seen a student sobbing because he received a 97% on a test? Or had a student who spent his entire weekend working diligently on an extra credit project when his average was already a 99%? How about a student who re-types the entire textbook to prepare for a final exam?
My students attend a highly competitive high school that requires a rigorous admissions process.
Once admitted into the academy, they strive to live up to the label they have been given: "the best and brightest". Obsessively grade driven, my students struggle with accepting that not everything follows a neat and orderly set of rules; they resist the idea of learning to learn or to have fun. As a result, I want to help them learn to enjoy engaging in the creative process.
"Wreck This Journal" will encourage my students to make a mess and release their tension while being creative. One of the activities asks the writer to tear out a page, throw it out, and accept the loss. When this was presented to a group of students, they became visibly uncomfortable watching the teacher proceed with this activity. It is so important for my students to learn it's OK to make mistakes, to learn from them, and to keep going. In order to innovate and create, they need to be comfortable with breaking the rules and moving outside of their comfort zone. "Wreck This Journal" will help me lead my students through a variety of much-needed stress relief activities over the course of the year, such as flinging coffee on the pages, writing carelessly, and releasing their inner monologue.
The books will be used all year in my English class to help my students engage in creative ways of relieving their anxiety.
I hope to use "Wreck this Journal" to give my students an outlet, a place to let go and mess up while creating something beautiful.
They need to realize that they can't succeed until they have failed :)
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