{secure} #allwrite13 reflection

There was a theme of risking and failing; succeeding and doubting; creating and producing throughout the All-Write 2013 Conference last week. It was almost eerie the way each session and speaker seemed to be linked seamlessly, thinking piled onto thinking and everyone was left with new ideas and realizations.

For me, one of the take-aways I’m most grateful for is the notion of security.

We live in a world that flails fists and knocks us around. It is easy to begin doubting that we aren’t important, we aren’t smart enough, we aren’t going to make a difference.

We know these are lies, and yet, sometimes we get hit hard enough and we begin believing them.

All-Write 2013, for me, was a reminder about being secure enough in my beliefs about teaching writers to know that taking risks are possible. It’s about knowing through failure I will grow. It is about believing it is not only okay, but necessary to nurture creativity.

It’s about chasing ideas because they resonate in my soul, like Lester Laminack said.

It’s about allowing yourself to have a vision for what’s possible for kids and then empowering them to find their voices. It’s about empowering your colleagues, too, as Chris Lehman said.

It’s about living in the moment to figure out what we have to say, like Don Graves did, as Penny Kittle said.

It’s about being brave enough to let poetry drip into prose, like Amy Ludwig Vanderwater said.

And also, from Amy, it’s about finding comfort in failure.

It’s about being the person who takes a minute to get her life on the page, like Penny Kittle said.

It’s about developing creative passions in others and knowing it takes tens of thousands of hours to develop a passion. It’s about knowing innovate and creative people follow their passions, like Carl Anderson said.

It’s about believing how we teach matters more than what we teach, like Carl Anderson said.

Security matters. It is important we are secure in our beliefs. It is important to find places to restore our security. The All-Write Summer Institute is a place that restores the best in us. I can’t wait until next year — June 19-20, 2014.

*The italicize lines are quotes from the speakers that I tweeted during their sessions. For an overwhelming amount of good stuff, checkout the #allwrite13 Twitter feed or this (80 page) PDF Tony Keefer put together of all of the #allwrite13 Tweets.

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  1. Ruth,
    Thanks for sharing your thinking about All Write. Taking risks and empowerment were definitely thoughts that resonated with me as well. However, I didn't really think about the concept of security until reading your post. Thanks for opening my mind to some more thinking.

    PS Genuinely appreciate and am humbled by sharing my blog within your post.

  2. I love the whole idea of 'chasing our ideas'. I really want to help kids see that next year. Thank you for the invite to this fabulous conference…wow! xo

  3. I heard the word creative from so many of the presenters that I wondered if there was a subtitle that I had missed. So I see that this idea is even more important because so many educators were talking about it independently. Thanks for the resource, I must try to figure it out.

  4. Ruth,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am a firm believer in experiencing failure to achieve success but, I hadn't thought about feeling secure in taking risk for myself as I asked my first graders to do. So today I am again picking up my writers notebook and learning to take risk for myself in writing about my day, my family, or whatever comes to me in the moment. Thank you for sharing my own advice with me!