Ralph got me thinking about a lesson in the book Talking, Drawing, Writing by Mary Ellen Giacobbe and Martha Horn. There is a lesson all about valuing where everyone is as a writer. Some may write letters, some may draw a detailed picture and others may write a story with lots of letters and sounds. I did this lesson with my class last week and then shared samples of what writing was looking like in Ralph's class too.
It was neat to do this lesson and use Ralph's "classmates" as an additional example. (I of course lead them to believe that I had access to this information).
On my way to work today I was having a conversation in my head with a "doubter" of my "way" of teaching writing. Thinking about what I would say? What proof do I have? Why do I need proof? Why do I sometimes feel like the doubters are trying to fear me into "their" way instead of looking closer at "my" way? And it hit me, they aren't there yet. I need to value them where they are. I am in a different place as an educator, on my own journey. So is everyone. I will try to value where they are and continue to build their understanding as I build my own.
I will not be afraid, or defensive, instead I will be me. I will continue to travel on my journey as a teacher of young writers.
Then by chance, I stumbled onto Scholastic's author interviews while researching author David Shannon (our mentor author for the next couple weeks). Norman Bridwell had an interview so I watched. He talked about how sometimes when you do something, not everyone will like it, but believe in yourself anyway. Then he went on to thank teachers. What an affirming message. (There are great videos on the link above. E.B. Lewis is one to watch too. I am full of new inpsiration today).