Workshop Coffeestop

Pre-AP English II Students Share Their Writing, Practice Public Speaking


Photo by Bridget Grant McGirr

Reading a poem, sophomores Hailey Allen and Hailey Gross participate in English II pre-AP's Workshop Coffeestop in the lecture hall on Nov. 14. At the event, students read their writing to an audience and had the chance to give and receive feedback via sticky notes. "I think that it is an amazing way to make my writing better, while helping my classmates around me," Gross said. "I love reading other people's writing pieces and seeing what others have to say about mine. It makes me feel like a real writer."

Morgan Kasel, Reporter

After a long semester of writing poems, short stories and scripts, English II  pre-AP students had a chance to show off one of their writing pieces during Workshop Coffeestop on Nov. 13 and 14 in the lecture hall.

Students had the option to present in front of their classmates and parents and coffee and snacks were provided. For the students who did not want to present, they had their written pieces posted on the walls all around the lecture hall. English teacher Kim Vidrine, who has been hosting a form of this workshop during her 17 years of teaching, said that she enjoys giving her students’ writing a chance to be appreciated. 

“It gives [students] an authentic audience for their writing piece because too often students write something and it just gets handed in to the teacher and that’s it, the teacher is the audience,” Vidrine said. “But in this case, we have a real audience of peers who are coming and so [students] are real writers because it is not just about the teacher.”

Vidrine said that she believes the Workshop Coffeestop can also inspire students to find new ways to write in. 

“A lot of times when students write in school, they only ever see their own writing,” Vidrine said. “Getting to see 150 people’s writing can be an encouragement. It can be something that causes you to be reflective about ‘Oh wow, some of these are really different from what I did, maybe I should consider trying something new.’ I think that it has a lot of benefits.”

One of the English students who took part in the event was sophomore Hailey Gross. She said that she enjoyed the experience, especially being able to give and receive feedback with sticky notes. 

“I think that it is an amazing way to make my writing better, while helping my classmates around me,” Gross said. “I love reading other people’s writing pieces and seeing what others have to say about mine. It makes me feel like a real writer.”

Sophomore Lia Kim, who presented her writing to her classmates, said that receiving support from her peers made  the whole experience engaging.

“I was kind of nervous at first,” Kim said. “But once I got over my nerves it was kind of a fun experience and nice to receive support from my classmates.”

Apart from being able to hear everyone’s work, Vidrine said that practicing speaking in front of big crowds is also a huge benefit.

“I love that students are brave enough to stand up and share something that, in some cases, is very, very personal,” Vidrine said. “Seeing them learn how to maintain composure in a stressful situation, I think, is good.”