Color Theory for Writing Teachers | Anna Plemons

By grace and serendipity I recently had the chance to visit the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin, Germany.  In looking through some of the color studies by Johannes Itten and Paul Klee I was shocked to discover something new to me—albeit embarrassingly elementary—about how colors work in conversation with each other.  I realize that in sharing […]

The Teacher’s Chair | Anna Plemons

In my last ALT/space post I wrote about the young musician who questioned the open-ended teaching style that I use with incarcerated writers.  I wrote the post, sent it in, felt uneasy about how my story as a teacher was tangled with the intimate witnessing of another man’s tears, argued with myself over the breach […]

The “Worst” Teacher Ever | Anna Plemons

At the prison where I am a guest TA, writing classes exist (for the moment) through two different administrative/funding streams – federally mandated mental health services and inmate self-help programs. Six months ago, Jim Carlson, the recreational therapist at CSP-Sac who is also my escort, suggested that we try to add a writing group for […]

The Brave Six | Spoon Jackson

Lockdown continues, going on six months now, so I don’t have my writing classes to teach. Fortunately, Professor Tom Kerr, who teaches writing at Ithaca College in New York, contacted me to do the Brave Six project with a new batch of young students at his school. Tom and I first orchestrated this essay/letter correspondence […]

Five Ws and an H: An Exercise to Help Students Explore Their Identities as Writers | Emma Bolden

WHAT: The journalist’s six cornerstone questions.  An idea I had one day: what if those questions were flipped inward and then outward?  What if I had my students ask themselves how those six questions relate to their lives as writers?  An exercise.  An inquiry.  A way for students to explore who they are as artists.  […]

Burning the Box: A Teacher Does Her Homework I Emma Bolden

Where are you going, where have you been: though they’re widely known as the title of a harrowing short story by Joyce Carol Oates, those eight words describe exactly what I want my students to think about in their last assignment for my class, the self-reflection: where they have been as writers and where they […]