“Be brave, Mama.”
"Be brave, Mama.”
The little voice of my 4-year-old as he hugged me goodbye echoed in my heart as I made my way nervously down the slopes, a beginner skier finding her feet.
As every parent and teacher will attest, our little people teach (and test!) us in so many ways. They surprise us—with their questions and their observations, their intense passions (for and against), and both their fearlessness and their fears. How much we learn from them is up to us. Up to us to notice, to listen, and to make the conscious choice to learn and grow with them.
Growing as a writer, as a parent, as a lifelong learner, means being brave, making time and living with intention.
One of my favourite moments at ECP is when students say to us, “I’ve written 3 (or 4 or 7) books. How many have you written?” The challenge is explicit, but for those who think they hear judgment, there actually is none. For our writers here — like we do — see everyone as a writer. Every one of us has stories to tell, experiences and ideas to share, and most importantly the capacity to do it.
Despite the number of adults who declare “I can’t write” or “You should teach me” as soon as I tell them I’m a writing teacher, I firmly believe that everyone can write, and—like anything else—can learn to improve their writing and write with confidence. But growing as a writer, as a parent, as a lifelong learner, means being brave, making time and living with intention.
Listening to my own advice...
As teachers, we talk all the time about setting our students up for success — and we do. There is a method to it, strategies, tools.
And as writing teachers, we tell our students all the time, “Give it a go” and “Don’t worry—just get it down first”. Then we cheer when they make a start, when they try something new, when they push through the hard parts of the task, the class or the project.
And no matter what happens with that draft, how quietly they share that first idea, or how clearly they deliver that first author’s reading, we are proud of them, so proud of them. For taking that risk. For putting themselves—their words, their stories, their ideas—out there.
Let our littles be our inspiration!
New years are always times of reflection and resolve—a chance to set goals, begin afresh, and take steps towards change. Letting the little people in my home and in my classrooms serve as my inspiration, I am committing to being brave and growing as a writer myself this year.
Join me on this journey! What will you be brave about this year?