Then I found this TED talk given by children's book author and illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka - who, not surprisingly, is also a great oral story teller. This is a video well worth watching as Jarrett touches on a range of topics that we should value highly in ece as well as in our adult lives: creativity, arts, literacy, ICTs, role models or more broadly 'important' people (he mentions his grandparents, a children's author who visited his school and commented on one of his drawings, and quite a few other teachers).
(This video doesn't display fully on our blog, so just follow this link and it will open on the TED website.)
During his talk, Jarrett talks about "the greatest piece of advice" he had been given by one of his art's teachers. He tells the story of how he was attending arts classes and had just received a book that would teach him how to draw cartoon images just the way they were supposed to be:
"And all the color just drained from his [teacher's] face, and he looked at me, and he said, 'Forget everything you learned.' And I didn't understand. He said, 'You have a great style, celebrate your own style. Don't draw the way you're being told to draw. Draw the way you're drawing and keep at it, because you're really good.'"
Celebrate your own style - so simple, but so true. And what an important message to both teach to the children in y/our care and to apply in our own lives.
If you follow this link you will be redirected to another TED page, which also contains the video of Jarrett's talk, as well as a list of 10 books he and his 2 young daughters recommend. Feel free to add more reading suggestions to the comments of our blog. Or if you would like to read more about the theory behind literacy and/or arts have a look at the resource section on our website as we list some of the books we find really useful in our practice. To find out more about Jarrett have a look at his website.