“Write From the Beginning is a college course in writing in seven days.” Those were some of the first words out of Jane Buckner’s mouth on the first day of the training I attended. By the end of those seven days, I was enlightened, enriched, empowered, and excited!
Write From the Beginning & Beyond (WFTB&B) is a teacher education program. What does that mean?
- It means it involves a foundational understanding of how children learn to write, what their characteristics are at each grade level, what should be expected of them and what should not be expected of them.
- It means that teachers are given time to learn about, explore and apply the criteria that make up a quality piece of writing.
- It means, most importantly, that Jane has a high expectation of teachers in the trainings. She respects us as professionals and expects professional behavior from us.
She does not say to throw away everything you have learned as an educator so far and do only what it says in the manual. In fact, she doesn’t consider you at an implementation level of 10 out of 10 unless you have made WFTB&B your own.
It is telling what the latest wave of rigid adherence to programs has done to our teachers. Many of the questions I am asked in trainings go something like this: “In my classroom I think that it might take four days rather than three days, is that okay?” I want to scream and rail at the atmosphere that created a generation of teachers who are afraid to trust their instincts in their classroom.