I have mentioned and implied more time than many about how Writer me is never left behind in the life of Teacher me.
But I may never be able to fully write or talk about the vast-s and weights of these two parts of me – the places where they smudge and pour into each other to soon become purely the other, the times they swell and swirl alongside each other and yet remain resolute in their uniqueness-es and their intersections and their molten mixed forms.
These I many never be able to find the words to write or talk about.
Teacher and Writer me, that is.
I can say how I had to fight and free myself from an abiding personal ethic of not sharing any extract or chunk from, and full written work of any of my students, of not sharing such things with a community other than the class in question and outside of the (college end of the) school where I teach.
At the moment, and because I am not able to imagine myself quitting teaching – or education, altogether, in the near future, in any future, my future – I cannot promise that this will be the first and only time I will be sharing only and fully student work, especially work I en-JOY!-ed being a part of its making and or was happy being a sudden spectator at the time of its making.
I cannot even pretend to make such a promise.
But I do know that I am proud of my students and I am happy and proud and again and more, to share four of the responses from said quiz with you, Reader Dear.
And in in order for you, Reader Dear, to read and see these work for the raw truth and story and unpretentious beauty and personality they each are, I thought to not:
- make known the question or prompt which these work were responses to.
- give any summary and description – no label whatsoever – of any of these work.
I must mention that I have spoken long and wide – including helping them write what will be their first author bios! – with the four students whose work I have selected for this series, and I have their consent and better, their very giddy gladness-es, to publish their work.
Also, very little changes and edits have been made to the first and original versions of each work, work produced under strict exam-like conditions. And these changes or edits. They were largely based on the marking annotations and feedback I gave, and always give (to) these students – and every other – on graded written work.
Yes, I just implied my students are such huge writers! Already.
I must mention too, that, Composition, the component (of the said examination) that required responses of this nature and length, is meant to test more than English language proficiency.
A careful look at the component’s mark scheme – as at the time I write this – should prove this: a total of 25 marks, consisting of:
- up to 13 marks for a criterion called Content and Structure.
- no more than 12 marks for another criterion called Style and Accuracy.
This component of said subject of said examination. Composition.
The mark scheme criteria for same component. Same Composition.
What these three of four things mean to me?
Words. Creativity. Writing. Words again.
Or simply, Creative Writing!
And it is for the loves and heart-skips, the joys and mind-tickles of these that I, many a time, approach the mountain and chore that grading students’ work can be for many many a Teacher – not excluding me.
And it is with all immense mind-tickles and joys, such surreal heart-skips and loves for writing and creative writing, for words and the wonders of their creations that I bring you, Reader Dear, the four selected writing from a recent quiz that Teacher me conducted for my Grade 10 IGCSE First Language English students:
Coolest Kid in Africa by Akosua Kumbol.
Makola and her Market by Kojo Obeng Andoh.
Waiting by Papa Ekow Archine.
Ghost Town by Keli Dey.
— Dansoman, Accra, Ghana; Tuesday, 19th March 2019.