As teachers of high school writing, we have observed how the pressures of modern life creep into every aspect of our students’ lives. It seems inevitable. Inescapable. From maintaining excellent grades and landing the “right” college acceptances to managing home lives and developing social media personae, our students are constantly asked to perform, which, to no one’s surprise, can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety. Our students are also all girls, so perfectionism and pleasing others are often companions to their learning experience.
We began to ask the question: how can we use our English classes to teach writing and reading in ways that not only build our student writers’ critical thinking and communication skills, but also support their overall wellness by developing these skills as supports and outlets for their hearts and minds?
Her Voice at the Table emerged as a space for us to unpack, debrief, discuss, and share our own learning process as we attempt to innovate our writing curriculum and think creatively about supporting the talented and extraordinary students we work with every day.