Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

When Teaching and Writing Collide


When Teaching and Writing Collide

So, as I wrote in last week’s blog post, I’m suddenly back in the classroom. From writer to teacher and writer in what seemed like the blink of an eye. The first week brought a couple of interesting moments:

  • I walked out to my afternoon duty post, only to find out that my post was “not a duty.” I found the right place the next time out. Order was restored.
  • I discovered that one of my students has a pair of “pet” alligators. Is that even legal?
  • I laughed out loud when the first day’s announcements began with the news that whoever “lost their lunch” on the front stairs should see the secretary, who had said lost lunch. Yuck.

With four different preparations for classes that I haven’t taught before, I may struggle at times to find time to continue to write. I had a couple of extra off periods last Friday while the seniors were away at a retreat and still managed to have work over the weekend just to be ready for Monday! However, there will be times when teaching and writing collide. Like last week, when I needed a sample major works book cover project example. So I went with a book I’ve come to know really well since the beginning of the year:

When teaching and writing collide

A sample alternate cover with a subtitle that suggests a major theme in seven words or fewer.

When teaching and writing collide

Back cover with plot summary and author bio

When teaching and writing collide

Inside front cover with significant quotes and character sketches

When teaching and writing collide

Inside back cover with the climax of the story and one of the book’s themes

I’m looking forward to decorating my intentionally bare walls with my students’ work throughout the course of the year with artwork from each of the major works we will cover. I look forward to reading their unique perspectives of The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Outsiders, just as a beginning.

I hope my students learn to appreciate literature. I hope they learn the value of viewing life from a different perspective. I hope they learn and appreciate what inspired the authors to write. I know I have.

I often use the prefix “From a writer’s perspective” on my Instagram photos to show where I’m writing from on a given day. Last week, my niece flipped the script, posting this photo of her Coach Dave: Season One book with the caption, “From a reader’s perspective.” Well played, Alison, well played.

Where teaching and writing collide From a reader’s perspective…in Hawaii

What about you? From a reader’s perspective, where are you reading Coach Dave?


When Teaching and Writing CollideClick here to check out my interview with Craig Haworth on his excellent podcast, Winning Youth Sports. Click here to find out more about what Craig doing on behalf of players, parents, and coaches on the youth sports scene. I thoroughly enjoyed talking coaching, in general, and Coach Dave, in particular, with him.

About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

3 Replies

  1. Leigh Ann Scharr

    Your students are lucky to have you! Your creative book cover assignment actually makes me miss the classroom. I wish you were able to write full time, but I know you will value the time you spend sharing your passion for writing and your love of reading with your students.

  2. You should miss the classroom–you were so gifted there! If you were to come out of retirement for, say, a workshop, I would come!

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