Follow-Up to The Fire Within And Official Student Invitation
My first book, The Fire Within: Lessons from defeat that have ignited a passion for learning, was written to bring attention to the importance of our individual stories and struggles and destigmatize the mental health issues that teachers may have developed in the process. I wanted to discuss the hard things so we could become more comfortable with the uncomfortable. The success of the book has been in the form of readers being able to let out the breath they didn’t know they were holding when they discovered they weren’t alone, and hopefully Part 2 on mindfulness, secondary traumatic stress and post-traumatic growth helped generate some awareness for strategies in dealing with struggles and trauma.
I am beginning a follow-up project to The Fire Within tentatively called Ignite the Flames: Stories of adversity by students who had the strength to overcome. This time, I would like to give teachers a glimpse into their students’ lives and real feedback from their perspectives on how we can best provide support. I want us (teachers) to see what we may not be seeing; understand what some of us are struggling to comprehend and I believe we can only do this by pulling in the very students we are trying to support and hearing it from their direct perspective.
I recognize that we, as educators, work really hard to understand our students’ struggles, but because we cannot see from your perspective our empathy can only get us so far. I understand that I have both met and worked with amazing kids and young adults who have gone through adversities that adults may not understand completely and those students have come out stronger on the other side. I am hoping that students will be willing to share their stories to help educators understand what we can do differently (or what we are doing well) to support our students. I am asking for your help.
This is what I am looking for:
Stories from students (preferably 22 years old and younger) discussing struggles, how you changed and grew, what you learned, mistakes you made, and how teachers could better have served you during these times. The story should answer the question “What is one thing you wish your teacher would have known at the time?” While the stories should be real and feel real, the concluding message should have an inspirational or motivational feel.
Topics are completely open. Stories should include background information along with what it looked like in school. Examples of some might be struggles with:
Denial/harassment of their identity
A strong failure
The recommended length of the stories is between 2000 to 5000 words (may be less for younger students).
Ages 18+ will have the option of contributing either anonymously or using their name as the contributing author.
Ages 17 and under will write as a contributing author with parental consent.
Contributors will work with the author (Mandy Froehlich) in the process of editing and revising.
The accepted and compiled stories will be published in Part 1 of the tentatively titled Ignite the Flames: Stories of adversity by students who had the strength to overcome. Thank you for your consideration and courage.
Know of a student who may be interested? Find the printable invite here.