Kids don’t walk through our doors as empty vessels, waiting to be filled. Even the newest, youngest additions to school bring with them a suitcase of imprinted memories, budding schemas, and a strong sense of self-worth.
One of our
jobs responsibilities in these beginning, formative weeks together is to unpack each of these suitcases.
Inside, we’ll find stories. We’ll uncover identities, self-efficacy, and mindsets — each of which will propel the successes and challenges ahead.
Before we can begin threading together the content that will weave a curriculum, we must extend an invitation and patiently nudge and wait, nudge and wait, nudge and wait.
Yes, there is an invitation to write, too, and it is delivered with care, stamped FRAGILE.
The invitation to write begins on the very first day and it will return the day after that…and the day after that…and the day after that. It will return every day until it is RSVP’d Yes by every writer, every single one.
Because before the writing comes a writer.
Before engaging in meaningful, purposeful, true writing, children need to see themselves as writers who can.
Before jumping into content, before placing a child on a progression or marking up a rubric, before telling kids what and how and why they will write, give yourself permission to set it all aside.
For it is in these early weeks that we have the potential to nurture new writing identities, to strengthen or revise notions kids have made about their capabilities as writers.