Setting up Inkreadable Kids was the easy part. How I got my students proved to be a stumbling block that for a time I could not get my head around. But the problem resolved itself in due course. Remember my rather posh private high school with the egalitarian leanings? They stepped up and I started stepping into the world of education. It turns out that reunions are wonderful for getting ideas and some very concrete support. Back in 2014, Tina Thuermer was the alumnae relations coordinator for WIS, but I remembered her as the awesome Theory of Knowledge instructor who taught me how to question. well question, I did. But my questions were circular and I couldn’t break the circle. So I called Tina and we had a brainstorming session.
In the years since I had left WIS so much had changed. The posh part of the posh private school had come to pass: they had a gym, a real theatre department, and their winter gatherings (Read alumnae boastfests) were catered. WIS had arrived. How did this help Inkreadable Kids, you ask? They also had a parent newsletter that allowed people to advertise services and such. With Tina’s encouragement, that’s exactly what I did. And it turned out, there was interest. I started getting email inquiries from parents within a week. They asked me all sorts of questions: syllabus, class structure, but most intriguing for the parents was how was I going to apply peer critique.
I believe that when you write, and allow others to read it, you give them a glimpse into you innermost thoughts, feelings, fears, and desires. Sure, the writer may disguise those things within the confines of a story but they are very real to the writer and exposing yourself to critique is the hardest thing a writer can do. But it can be done, and more importantly, in an environment where it is safe to do so. Questions are frame in a positive way. There was to be no “I like…” and “I don’t like”. Instead, “Here’s what’s working”, “I want to see more of…”.
The parents were excited, and and it turned out so were the kids. The first class was a glorious exercise in the power of the girl writer. On the edge of your seat to see what happened? Stay tuned, that’s the next Inkreadable installment.