I posed that question to my students this week as we contemplate the next steps we will take in our work surrounding the National Writing Project’s Writing Our Future project. This is an important question to ask because their next steps will include arguing a claim exploring one of the barriers to the American Dream as well as crafting a response to the Writing Our Future invitations.
I also felt it was an important question to ask as my weekend included responding to their American Creeds against a backdrop of competing messages about the future of our country. I live and teach students in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District which is one of the districts spotlighted to tell the nation whether or not we will see a blue wave on Nov. 6. The same weekend that I was reading my students’ American Creeds the small town next door hosted former Vice President Joe Biden stumping for challenger Amy McGrath while another nearby community hosted President Donald Trump supporting incumbent Andy Barr. These events as well as the nonstop barrage of political ads on every form of media (I can’t even go on Youtube to take solace in baby animal videos. I may be forced to dust off my DVD player to see if it still works just to make it through Election Day.) have provided important context for my students as they think about what it means to be an American, what we think about the American Dream as a society, and what barriers we see to the American Dream.
My students have a lot to say about these issues. They still believe in the American Dream and are hopeful about the future. Are you? I bet you have a lot to say about that as well because it is an important question. I continue to be excited about my work based on NWP’s Writing Our Future because it offers my students authentic and meaningful writing opportunities. Their thoughtful study of our country and the challenges that face it brings me hope for our future.