I was trained not to address my kids as "students" or "class" but as "authors" and "readers." We gathered "seed ideas" in our Writer's Notebooks.
We crafted "small moment" stories, personal narratives, and memoirs. We "shared out." Gathered with them on the rug, I explained to my 10-year-olds that "good writers find ideas from things that happened in their lives." That stories have "big ideas." That good writers "add detail," "stretch their words," and "spell the best they can." Teach grammar, sentence structure, and mechanics? I "modeled" the habits of good readers and "coached" my students.
So what is it about dressing the body—another form of self-expression—that makes it different?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that fashion is often pigeonholed as fashion magazines and consumerism—which it can be—but it can also be a lot more nuanced.
Every decent human impulse we have as teachers shouts in favor of not imposing rules and discipline on students, but liberating them to discover the power of their voice by sharing their stories. We didn't believe in the kind of literacy instruction practiced by New Dorp High School, as described by Peg Tyre in her piece, "The Writing Revolution." It is not an overstatement to say that our failure to help students become good readers and writers is why I became a curriculum reform advocate.
Of course children will be become better writers if they write personal narratives instead of book reports. We have become accustomed to thinking of educational failure as a function of a teacher's lack of effort, talent, or training.
Whether it’s an old pair of classics steeped with memories or a shiny new limited edition, creative types have been donning the shoe in its many forms as a way to express and define themselves through dress.
From actor Sylvester Stallone to photographer Juergen Teller, see how artists and creatives have been rocking the kicks throughout the decades for inspiration… Kennedy – Ullstein Bild, Ramones – Action Press, Sylvester Stallone – Action Press, River Phoenix – Action Press, Darryl Hannah – Claudio Carpi / Corbis Outline, Cleveland Browns – Corbis, Luis Tomasello – Martine Franck / Magnum Photos / Agentur Focus.
During World War Two, primitive peoples in the South Pacific, unfamiliar with industrialized societies and technologies, watched airplanes land and disgorge enormous amounts of matériel. They wanted to make the planes come back, so the natives formed "cargo cults" to build runways and signal fires. They're missing something essential, because we model and coach and they still can't write. They have big vocabularies and solid command of the conventions of language and grammar.
They fashioned crude control towers and decoy planes from bamboo. They were imitating perfectly the behaviors of the soldiers that made the planes land. And if this is not explicitly taught, it will rarely develop by osmosis among children who do not grow up in language-rich homes."When our students resist writing, it is usually because writing has been treated as little more than a place to expose all they do not know about spelling, penmanship and grammar," observes Lucy Calkins, probably the workshop model's premier guru. This leaves exactly two options: The first is to de-emphasize spelling and grammar. But at too many schools, it's more important for a child to unburden her 10-year-old soul writing personal essays about the day she went to the hospital, dropped an ice cream cone on a sidewalk, or shopped for new sneakers. Far from imposing a cultural norm or orthodoxy--silencing their stories and compromising their authentic voice--teaching disadvantaged children the mechanics of writing, and emphasizing evidence over anecdote, is liberating not constraining. and mechanics to low-income black and Hispanic students is giving them access to what Lisa Delpit, an African-American educator and a critic of progressive education methods, famously called the "culture of power." Let me hasten to add that there should be no war between expressive writing and explicit teaching of grammar and mechanics. Kids are more likely to become engaged, thoughtful writers if they feel comfortable and competent with language.