Just Begin by Ann Haywood Leal
My mind is wandering and the delete button has become my best friend. Then I start to get anxious, because time is running out, and I have to go prepare a busy day for my twenty first graders.
Those twenty first graders don't need a jolt of Seattle mud to get going. They jump into their day with both feet and eyes wide open.
First graders don't worry about how to begin when they are writing or speaking. Show and Tell is performed each day with gusto. They aren't concerned with what their readers or listeners will think, because they are for sure positive that what they are saying or writing is the absolute most important and interesting thing ever. They boast, they brag, they shamelessly praise themselves. Constantly.
Last week a girl stood up in front for her turn to share. She wore a ratty used-to-be-white veil. It hung down over one eye. "I got this from my cousin," she announced. "It's almost time for my first communion, so I need to wear this."
A boy nudged her out of the way to take his turn. He proudly wore a shiny gold medal. "It's for being the fastest runner," he said. "Everybody got one."
So I'm going to take the cue from those twenty wise little creatures. I'm going to begin without the worry about what someone will think. I'm going to turn off the doubt button in my head, put on my ratty veil and shiny medal and just begin ...