The New York Times Sunday Review today has an essay from me called “The Soul-Crushing Student Essay.” Here is the takeaway:
A decade teaching young writers has taught me a great deal. First, we need to value more the complete and complex lives of young people: where they come from, how they express themselves. They have already lived lives worth of our attention and appreciation.
Second, we need to encourage young people to take seriously the lives they’ve lived, even as they come to understand—often through schooling and just as often not—that there’s a whole lot more we'll expect of them. Through this, we can help them learn to expect more of themselves, too.