A Writing Success Story You Won’t Soon Forget
As a teacher and/or parent, we care about our children more than we do ourselves. That’s just natural. We also care that they do better- that they have better opportunities- than we did. This article is about such opportunities and how it will shape your child’s future, as well as, their child’s future. Let me frame things for you:
I am a dad. I am not a teacher. I am autodidactic, which means I teach myself. And I know what I see: a country becoming more sophisticated while its children are falling further behind. That is why I don’t rely on public education as my sole source for my children’s learning. I’m very involved with my kids that way and I’m always looking for an edge.
Two years ago I stumbled upon a writing instructional method that changed my kids lives forever. And although my success story is worth telling, I want you to experience how powerful this writing strategy is from someone less fortunate than my children. Let’s call him Danny.
Danny was a middle school student struggling with reading and writing and had a significant learning disability. He was one of the lowest tested ELA students in his building. Suffice to say, Danny did not enjoy going to school. One day an assignment was presented to all the students, including his special needs class: Write an essay on ‘Why Every Vote Matters’. All entries would be submitted to the county essay competition.
And while the students in Danny’s class were diligent in their efforts, it was clear that, because of this particular population, none of those students had a chance of placing in the contest. Well, I couldn’t have been wronger (sic) and I will be forever re-assessing my judgment of others because, to my surprise, Danny, one of the lowest achieving students in his school, won his 7th grade category for opinion writing essays.
It was a beautiful Saturday morning when awards would be given. All the winners went to the county courthouse that day and, while most came with a parent or two, Danny came in tow with his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, all dressed to the nines because it was the first academic achievement anyone had ever earned in his family.
Danny, proud as a peacock, went up in front of the district attorney, received his award and cried just as hard as his adoring family. Moreover, that day, Danny changed his tune about school and it forever changed his life.
His teacher would like to take credit for Danny’s transformation but, she admits, it was not her. It was a writing process that finally clicked for him: Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD). SRSD gave Danny the confidence he needed to succeed academically because of his new-found ability to write. To this day his teacher will profess how life-altering the award was for Danny and for her.
No, I don’t know how you, the teacher, handles the stress of today’s education. But I do know that there are ways to empower our children to succeed on their own. And SRSD is one of the most powerful tools. Just ask Danny and his teacher.
Marketing video pioneer Randy Barth ([email protected]) has been a video marketing documentarian since the days of VHS. Credits for Randy (@honceoui) include “Fighting to Rise Above,” the story of Olympic medalist Kayla Harrison; producing two feature-length movies; board member of DocWayne.org, which provides sports therapy for at-risk youth; and serving as VP of Pixability, a Cambridge-based video marketing service, which Randy helped grow from tiny startup to hot YouTube property on the national stage. Today Randy focusses his energy within the literacy landscape through his company, LiteracyOnDemand with SRSDOnline.com and Writing Whatever as his online course entrees.