Crayons and Creativity

I have been a writer ever since I could hold a pencil. Writing stories in Zaner-Bloser print, carefully fitting my sentences onto the dotted lines of picture story paper…the kind where you write on half the page and use Crayolas to illustrate on the other…was my favorite thing to do as a child.

In high school and college I continued writing, winning several writing awards and a few writing scholarships. I majored in English and education, wrote for the college newspaper and dabbled in writing poetry, short stories and my version of the Great American Novel.

Education and Empathy

While teaching young children in an at-risk program in an urban school district I wrote parent education manuals for our outreach programs. Teaching left my summers free for personal writing and time to freelance for nonprofit and business clients.

The book I wrote about my thematic classroom management system won the Ben Franklin Award for the Best Education Book. The Wolf Pack Classroom Management Plan did more than fulfill my dream of becoming an author: it showed the power of words to encourage, nurture and inspire.

Writing to educate, and encourage empathy, was my secret weapon as a special education advocate. Persuasive and compelling letters, which calmly communicated a child’s special needs, helped school personnel understand the student’s disability and the requested accommodations or modifications. This led my clients and school districts to solutions and resolutions that improved children’s education and school experience.

As a special education teacher, I’ve created fictional stories incorporating IEP (Individualized Education Plan) goals to help overcome severe learning challenges. I have written Social Stories to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Bibliotherapy stories to help children work through challenges like anxiety and depression. Because personalized stories support children during difficult times and provide comfort and healing, they are one of my favorite things to write.

Prose and Possibilities

Finding a writer is easy enough. Many write for a living, and do it relatively well.

But finding a writer with a special education background is a challenge and it’s what makes me unique. The combination of my skills as a teacher and a writer results in my ability to create content that is clear and concise as well as creative and engaging. Having a writer’s soul, an English major and editing experience makes me a wordsmith of precision and style. My prose gives your business or nonprofit infinite possibilities.

Writing, to me, is more than words that sell a product or service, provide information or tell a story. It is those things, but it is mostly about making connections. It’s about having empathy for your audience, because, in the end, the way your words make people feel is the only thing that matters.

Writing has always been and will always be my greatest joy. I still love writing as much as I did in kindergarten. Only now I don’t use lined paper and illustrate my work with crayons.

Create-Write-Inspire Janis Gioia Contact Me