Child Writers are Courageous
Writers have to be courageous. I model this for students by embracing the process myself. I write and revise songs and stories in front of my students and their parents - in real time - so they can see the process. Just as we model reading and writing, we also model bravery. Indeed, the very writing of this blog puts my ideals on the line and is an act of bravery, a model for my students.
For ten years, I taught Music and Literacy at a school. At the end of each school year, the kindergartners performed songs on stage in a performance called "Spring Sing." Every year, before we went on stage, a couple of students would say they were scared. I told them, "When you are scared, you have to be brave. Being brave is doing what you know you need to do, even if it's scary."
The goal of perfection is a dangerous one that breeds inaction and fear. Perfectionism results in fear because we know that perfection is unattainable. Letting go of perfectionism and aiming for progress encourages courage. Progress is achievable. Knowing that we are setting ourselves up for success allows us to move forward and be brave.
While I aspire to model courage for my students, the truth is that they are the perfect models of bravery for me. In my classes, my students sing, dance, read, and write with admirable courage. If you, as a parent or teacher, are afraid to sing or dance, look to your children for courage.