When you are learning at your best, what is that like? This was a question posed to me by my son Michael, who is a counselor. I found it a fascinating question–and it made me think. For “learning,” read “writing.” Then think what a terrific question this would be to ask students. We don’t emphasize the positive side of writing much. It’s all about grades, scores, standards, getting it right, meeting requirements, achieving at a certain level. When is the last time you thought about the joy of writing? How good it feels when the words just come, when you think of the perfect metaphor or come up with a phrase you know will be quotable or hit the note you know is your voice and no other? Oh–and by the way, my answer was: It’s like snorkeling. You just float. It’s effortless. And yet . . . each moment brings with it a new discovery. So–what’s it like for you when you are learning or writing at your best? What’s it like for your students? Ask them–and get some amazing writing in response.

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