By day I am a First Grade teacher, committed to teaching six and seven year olds how to write anything they want to. We tell them that they are all authors and we hold on tight to the mantra...“if you can think it, you can say it, and if you can say it, you can write it.” We resist the urge to take a red pen to their work, and have developed an uncanny ability to turn a blind eye to misspelled words. We polish our skills when it comes to reading phonetically and look for just a few words in a sentence that can help us decipher the author’s intent. Reading First Grade writing is a learned skill that not everyone can add to their own expert list.
So here we are in February, over 100 days in. Our students have written expert lists, letters, how-to’s, even non-fiction stories, and are proud of their work. Sometimes (sometimes!) they are even able to read their own writing. We continue to remind them everyday that they are all authors and they have started to believe us.
This is true, right? If you write something, you are an author.
You can imagine how excited I was to share with them something my good friend Veronica and I have been working on since June. Together we co-authored a book. Veronica, a high school teacher by day and a talented artist by night, began creating intricate black and white drawings of animals last summer. This was an old hobby that died hard when she had kids, but with the long awaited summer vacation ahead of her, she decided to try again. I caught wind of what she was doing and the light bulb turned on. What if she could draw animals that were also yoga poses, and then I could add my yoga knowledge (note: I use the word knowledge, not expertise) and we could create a coloring book and pose guide? Each yoga or mindfulness class I teach begins with coloring a mandala as a way of tuning in, calming down, and finding stillness. We were beside ourselves at the thought of something like this so we got to work.
You can read a bit more of the story in the introduction of the book, but the most exciting news is this: a project we have been working on since June has all come together (with just a few typos and gaps in the ink) and we are officially authors of a coloring book and yoga guide called “Find Your Animal Side.” Pinch me! My class certainly shares in the excitement with me, and I believe it helped them to see that they, like me, really CAN be authors.
The book is for sale on Amazon and we are working with selected studios and boutiques in the Atlanta area that are interested in carrying it. Please join us in celebrating and do yourself a solid by finding your animal side. Whether you are looking for a way to shift your focus away from work or perhaps you seek a creative way to relax, we hope you will enjoy it.