A Letter from Caits Meissner, Education Editor
Dear educators, artists, mentors, big brothers & sisters, mamas & poppas, aunties & uncles and all who teach:
The trap of teaching, of editing, of writing lesson plans, of mentoring is this: sometimes we feel we must choose. Either we are selfishly hoarding away our next manuscript under a single spotlight in a cabin shack far away from humanity, or we are selflessly orating from the top of classroom desks and inspiring the next generation to take over the world. What I love about Well&Often is that we didn’t try to choose. Instead, we found a way to say yes to everything – to celebrate the practice of writing, to honor emerging and established voices, to uplift the joy of expression, and also place unequivocal importance on the teaching of writing – and those who teach. Crafting lesson plans based on our contributor’s work and featuring writing by educators brought me back to the here and why: there is a present and there is a future and there is a past and all are fluid, relevant and strangely simultaneously happening every moment of our lives. So why don’t we also allow ourselves to be?
Though our ship is sailing, a bittersweet taste for us all – here is my shout into the educator canon (deep breath): You are everything! You can be everything! Literature is one of the most profound vehicles of storytelling, can shift the life of young people, can shift our own lives. I want you to be messy in your multitudes, to blur the area between the classroom and the rest of your life, to be an inspired student of the world and encourage your young people to do the same.
Thank you for reading along side us, getting excited with us, using the lesson plans in your classrooms, committing to reading time and time again. Thank you to all of our fantastic contributors, you all shine! A special thanks to Anna, Nora and of course, Tishon – my partners in words. We all have some serious stuff to go write now.
And so do you, reader. Don’t you owe yourself a new notebook or what? Can’t wait to see what we all write.
In love & poetry,