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Being naked is ok!

I recently reviewed a copy of Julian Grenier’s book Successful Early Years Inspections. A few days later I read a blog post that Julian wrote: ‘Successful Early Years Ofsted Inspections: “what the **** did you spend your time writing that for?”’

In brief, the title comes from a message Julian received from a colleague, who actually used those words.

Julian used his blog post to explain why he wrote his book.

I have been writing in the public domain for over two decades, including sector journals, professional guides, books and blogs. I also remember, as a student 30 years ago, writing a letter to Nursery World!

When I start to write, I never think: “What if someone doesn’t like it, what if I haven’t referenced information incorrectly, what if it goes against someone else’s passion?”

I write because I’m passionate about Early Years, the little people and their families.

As a writer, you are vulnerable from the moment you press that send button either to activate your blog post or to email an editor. To be vulnerable is ok, it’s one of the reasons why I love Brene Brown’s work.

You’re metaphorically ‘naked’ to all forms of feedback, negative or positive. Some would debate and say that they are sharing their constructive criticism. That’s fine, and readers have the right to do so. On the other hand, I feel the term constrictive criticism is too harsh and maybe the term ‘reflective sharing’ would be more positive.

I would also like more educators to be brave and to write, sharing their passion, knowledge and experience.

After all, it’s ok to be naked!

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  • Penny Webb

    Great blog Laura and one that I totally relate to. I agree being naked and open to comment from others is OK. As you know I struggle with my confidence and can be very sensitive at times especially around the areas I struggle with.

    However, with encouragement from yourself and others to start to blog /write articles and to continue to do so. I have found I do have a voice and that others are interested in what I have to say.
    What makes it work for me is having a number of colleagues (including yourself) who help me reflect and move forward.
    I hope many others do start writing and sharing their thought

  • Kim Benham

    Love this Laura. Agree we need to support each other’s writing more kindly and positively, and those of us who write our blogs to be brave and share. It is after all very positive networking.

  • David Cahn

    Thank you for this! I just wrote a response to something Jan Dubiel wrote on data last night and I was feeling quite naked about it at the time! Would like to share it here if that’s okay.


    There seems to be big discussions going on in EY that mostly involve trainers, consultants, policy and government people and not that many actual educators have a voice in. Instead of grumbling about the ways of the world, I think we should definitely start to get our voice in these discussions as well!

    • Laura Henry

      Thanks David and for sharing your blog.. 🙂

      • Rachel Buckler

        Great blog David…its not all about data and true sophisticated data or information..and Jan Dubiel is looking at it from the macro point of view..obviously given his position at EEx. You’re giving it from the position of your role with children you work with and I love that! Keep up the good work and your comments that make us reflect on what is really important to you and the children with whom you work. 🙂

  • Penny Webb

    Hello David, I have read your blog post and found myself agreeing with a lot of what you say. At first I thought I would respond directly on your blog, but then had second thoughts as my comments are linked to Laura’s blog as much as yours.
    So here goes
    I also read Mr. Dubiel’s blog but rather than expose myself to comments expressed personally rather than professional ( as has happened previously ) I in fact chose to tighten the belt on my overcoat and not become naked. In doing so I just expressed personal opinion about Dubiels blog to a few close colleagues.

    I completely agree with you about the voice of the practitioner (and indeed think should apply to the voice of patent and child as well) but I think until people can feel brave enough to expose their thoughts in the naked sense without fear of a ‘put down’ or ridicule, and for their opinion to be reflected on professionally, both in settings and in the wider social media and blogging world – thenany others will either ensure their overcoat is securley done up or maybe will don a suit of armour.

    I like you hope people will start to voice their opinion more.

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