When I started this adventure of teaching creativity and innovation I thought that I would be guiding young children in passion projects in grades 2-5 and providing a maker space for the little ones in k-1. I thought that the maker space made so much sense in the younger grades because I suspected that the little ones needed that time to explore and make. I was right and wrong. The little ones love to make. It's actually a bit comical to watch them as they work. They have to, and I mean have to get EVERYTHING out at the creation station. I tried to get them to take out only what they need (because clean up is a nightmare - at least it was). They quickly let me know that they need it all.
When I look at the things that they make, I have to sometimes fight the "wow that is craptastic" urge that fights to overcome me. The things they make look like they aren't anything meaningful until you talk to them. When I ask them to tell me about what they are working on, their sweet, precious voices tell me what they are working on and they never, ever disappoint. They are so stinking creative, I think that it is something that I could never ever teach.
So that got me thinking about that. Kids are so creative... in so many different ways. The more I get out of their way and let them create, the more they are willing to try. They sometimes ask if they can do certain things, with a look like they know that I will say no. Then I say yes and they light up.
I was wrong when I thought that the 2-5 kiddos would be better off with passion projects. Don't get me wrong, they love to learn about whatever they want to when they come to my class. The thing is that they also love to make. They come in with ideas and sometimes materials because they just aren't sure that I will have it in my room. They love to sew. It's very rudimentary since my skills are very limited, but they try. When their lines aren't straight, they comment their concern, but I tell them that it is a perfect first try. I tell them to celebrate that they did it all by themselves and that they should be very proud. :)
I'm so thankful for making for several reasons. The two biggest reasons in my life are that I love to make myself. Making helps you to see things in different ways and it makes you feel so empowered to do things yourself, whether perfect or not. The second reason is that I get to watch a whole new world open up to all of the kids in my school. I get to share my passion with them and to help them to find their own.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week everyone! I hope you find yourselves feeling thankful. :)