Jim Gray founded the National Writing Project in California in the early 1970s as a way to gather teachers together to share best practices in the teaching of writing and to become writers themselves. He passed away in the past year. (He published a wonderful book called Teachers at the Center about the early days of the writing project).
The Voice, a publication of the NWP, recently published some wonderful reflections on Jim Gray’s impact on our network of teachers, and this retrospective included the so-called unwritten Gray’s Laws that seem very insightful.
|The First Law:
No one, in any way, at any time, or under any circumstances, likes criticism.
|The Sixth Law:
If you become defensive, you lose.
|The Second Law:
Everyone, without qualification, is starved for recognition.
|The Seventh Law:
When issues are controversial, communication between opposing sides is mostly impossible.
|The Third Law:
Incompetence flourishes in all fields and in all walks of life.
|The Eighth Law:
The Macbeth Family Factor — It pays to consider the consequences, lest you go mad.
|The Fourth Law:
No one can see ‘the truth’ unless predisposed to see it.
|The Ninth Law:
The Iago Factor — There really are a lot of mean-spirited people in this world.
|The Fifth Law:
No one wants to be told what to do or what to think.
|The Tenth Law:
Anyone who has made up nine laws will add a tenth.
You can read some of the stories about Jim Gray through the Bay Area Writing Project site.