Sometimes the simplest thing creates a significant impact.
There are so many grand and beautiful things in this life but something that always makes me feel alive is a flower blowing in the wind. Its simple movement and the nonchalance of the wind has so much happiness and lessons to offer. Many people think an education and happiness rely on quantity but it relies on a lot less than that.
The same can be said about teaching.
When I began teaching children’s classes, I was exposed to the idea that having lots of teaching tools made your class better. From enormous and colorful instruments to magnificent puppets, classes became more about tangible items versus innate ability. I felt uncomfortable and my skills and talents felt disguised. However, when you are an employee, sometimes it is difficult to break away from the norm, particularly if it’s a requirement.
However, once I branched out on my own, I welcomed this new opportunity and started making personal teaching tools which quickly replaced beautiful puppets and some traditional instruments. Simplification was key and dissolved inherited dependence - the type that just stole life away from the my overall vision.
The beautiful thing about this is, the positive impact came instantly.
Suddenly, my students were far more engaged. Parents and other peers noticed the changes and constantly praised my efforts. Curriculum creation lived in a more meaningful and creative place and as a result, elevated the basic concept of my classes. This instant success encouraged me to follow this approach and now, I actually have this blog as a tangible example of my work. More than that, it’s a space where I can share ideas - all of which have been tested in many classrooms with children of diverse ages.
As a mobile teacher who commutes from school to school, with a backpack I might add, I’ve always focused on crafts that are easy to transport and withstand repeated use. Therefore, material selection became of utmost importance as well as the outcome of the desired activity.
As previously mentioned, I leaned towards simplification and as a result craft ideas and by extension, the respective materials required less thought. Mediums such as paper, old cardboard boxes, and even take out containers were often saved, stored, and relied upon for projects such as this one.
Take a look!
Even if you don’t have all the pretty colored paper you will see in the video, white sheets will suffice.
Additionally, the birds you about to see have survived several semesters and my students adore them. That’s the beauty in crafting and using your handmade crafts - you experience both the outcome and impact of your work.