I mean, think about it. We begin teaching the writing process in kindergarten - using picture books! Katie Wood Ray showed us the efficacy of using a picture book structure with our youngest writers. Those little ones intuitively understand picture books because they've seen and heard them read aloud, they "know how picture books go". And so the writing work becomes centered around story composition and illustrations that support words in a context that is familiar and "safe". As pages are turned, the story unfolds in an organic beginning-middle-and-ending way. And, as those little ones draw and write and turn the pages of their picture books, their teachers teach mini-lessons that seamlessly build understanding of process and product.
It has occurred to me that this very organic approach to teaching writing in kindergarten might appeal to teachers who have low confidence in their writing abilities, who fear writing in front of their students, whose self-efficacy as writers does not exist. Especially if it is seen as a relaxed, enjoyable form of writing - no pressure, just opportunity for self-expression with a few mini-lessons tucked in to build real writing capacity.
In my heart of hearts, I know that teachers must be writers if they are to be successful writing instructors. I can't think of one other subject that teachers teach without being able to successfully engage in the content before they instruct students. As educators, we need to be fully present in "practice", not bystanders teaching from the sidelines.
And, most importantly, in my heart of hearts, I know that every single teacher, just like every single student can learn to write!
Who's in? Check back next week and we'll get started!