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brenda mahler

Location: United States

Gender: F

Member Since: September 2021

Last online: October 2021

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Last Updated Sep 23, 2021

Giving Youth a Voice by Publishing Lockers Speak


Eight years ago, I started writing a book. This morning it was published. Many challenges occurred along the way but with time everything can be overcome, add to time stubborn determination and a lot of whining at my adult tech savvy daughter.

Lockers Speak occurs as the students exit the school to begin summer break. They leave behind the lockers who personify their thoughts and emotions. As an administrator walks the empty halls, she reflects on the events of the school year. The voices whispering, sometimes screaming from the lockers share stories of friendship, academic struggles, death, abuse, celebrations, and basic human experiences.

This book is a compilation of students’ thoughts. The words presented through verse stand-alone but together intertwine to create a glimpse of society. Youth bring to school more than their backpacks. They hold a unique perspective because with them they carry memories, aspirations, and dreams as well as every emotion, event, and person who influenced their identities, complicated by issues that may not be new to their generation but are enhanced by the 24/7 broadcasting of news and social media.

Public schools present a microcosm of society. The voices on these pages provide snapshots of teens growing up in modern society. Collectively, they share the story of our culture. Sometimes the speakers blatantly state facts without realizing the secrets they reveal; others share little directly. With each student, a story evolves like a puzzle, and with each voice the pieces assemble to provide a glimpse into their realities.

Lockers Speak emerged from the voices of these students. Though the individuals are fictional, the events and emotions reflect experiences from the author’s thirty-four-year career in public education. With the desire to use writing as a tool for students to understand themselves and their world, the author prompted students in her classrooms to write about personal adversity. The students became excited to tell their stories, knowing someone was going to listen. Those essays became the catalyst for this text.

Lockers Speak provides adults: parents, educators, counselors, anyone invested in America’s youth a glimpse into their minds. The words also provide a means for teens to hear from others that they are not alone as it shares the everyday, common experiences that provide life joy while challenging survival. Through students’ voices, it reveals the commonalities of life’s experiences.

If you would like an inside look at the thoughts of teens, it is available now.

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Brenda Mahler is a retired educator with 34 years' experience. As an English teacher and administrator, she learned about life from her students as a silent observer. She carries the memories of the students who taught compassion, the value of overcoming challenges, and the need to compromise. Her passion for teaching grew each year as she realized the power of one person to make a difference in the lives of others. Lockers Speak allows the voices of youth from her past to speak their truths.

As a wife, mother and grandmother, Brenda writes about life experiences acknowledging that everyday hold opportunities to learn, grow, and inspire. Her writing can be enjoyed on multiple websites. Join the 3K+ readers who follow her by visiting any one of the many sites where she publishes.


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