A public speaking gig that started at Carondelet High School in 2001 has morphed into greatness at Christian Brothers High School for established English Department Chair Mrs. Maureen Wanket. As an author of three published novels, Mrs. Wanket characterizes her own creative process as spiritual. “It feels like a spirit is moving through me and […]
A public speaking gig that started at Carondelet High School in 2001 has morphed into greatness at Christian Brothers High School for established English Department Chair Mrs. Maureen Wanket.
As an author of three published novels, Mrs. Wanket characterizes her own creative process as spiritual.
“It feels like a spirit is moving through me and I’m only the channel,” she says. “Sometimes I’ll write a story and not remember what happened until I read it.”
In addition to writing novels, she frequently speaks at CB student assemblies. For Mrs. Wanket, writing a novel is like making a diving catch; this catch is near impossible with a lack of adequate practice, as is writing a novel.
But writing to speak in front of a bunch of hormone filled teenagers is like catching a “can of corn”, the type of ball an outfielder camps under and does not move an inch for.
“When I am writing a book it is so hard because I have no theme, but when I write to speak in front of students [Campus Ministry and God Squad Leader] Mrs. Yearwood gives me a theme and that makes it a lot easier.”
Ideas in Mrs. Wanket’s mind are vast and plentiful. But on the other hand, students face great hardship as they attempt to jumpstart their own imaginations.
“Students think they are not artists,” the English teacher says.
She places emphasis on the idea that students must believe in themselves before anything can happen. She often reassures students in class with a phrase like, “Why stop? You have come this far!” Students are left feeling accomplished and further encouraged to push the creative envelope.
For a student to create, a teacher must play a simple role.
“A teacher must be quiet, get out of the way, turn the students towards each other and encourage them to have their own opinion,” she says.
The students will battle it out and lay foundation for new perspectives, while remodeling the old ones. Mrs. Wanket empowers students, revealing to them that the key to their own learning and imagination lies within themselves.
The key is then turned and the understanding is unlocked, helping students come to the realization that it is profound to have a different perspective.
“It is good to be different, we are all artists, we all make things,” says the inspirational teacher.