Saturday, November 23, 2013

Falling In Love With Teaching Children Again!

So far we only had four kids booked in for todays workshop and the organisers were apologising to me for so few attendees. Then there were eight. That was okay as I had 12 candles. The workshop was set to start at 12:30 today.  By 11.o'clock the numbers had doubled to sixteen children, aged from 3-11. I needed to buy more supplies quickly. All the shops in Beverley close at 12:30! I think I also needed a stiff drink!

I used teach kids everyday but I took a break because I wasn't giving any of my own creative work the time and attention it needed so, as you can imagine I was a bit anxious about today. So anxious I gobbled down some nuts for lunch and gave myself a bad stomach cramp. I decided I was being stupid getting all wound up, so I 10 min in prayer just letting all my anxiety go.  I was organised, so all I needed to do now was enjoy myself and that I did! I have to say, I think I had the 16 most beautiful kids in the world. Thank you God! They were just gorgeous and a real pleasure to teach. Their parents can be very proud!

We started off with an hour of InterPlay on the Beverley Platform which is actually a performance stage. perfect! Also, it was still in the shade. 30 degrees in the midday sun in Beverley is not very comfortable. This was a first for me. I had never done InterPlay with kids before, except a little with my three grandchildren.So this was a new experience for me. Oh! my goodness. I have been missing out! They were so responsive and creative and really got into it. With my adults there are so many layers to sift through before I can tap into the playful, creative and free spirited inner child. I know it took me a long time when I first started InterPlay, but wow-with these kids it was right there. I had so much fun leading them. I realised then and there, I must seriously look into offering InterPlay 4 Kids. Maybe that's why I haven't been able to get any adults involved on a regular basis- I'm meant to be teaching children! Anyway I'll look into finding a venue and planning something in the New Year. I couldn't take any photos of the InterPlay session because I was too busy leading but my friend Jenny was clicking away and I can't wait to see some of the action shots of those inspiring kids! I'll post them soon.

The other thing I observed was that 5 of the children had up to 4 brothers or sisters in the workshop.  I guess if mum's bringing one or two, the others come along and join in too.  When I run an InterPlay class for adults it is highly unlikely that one participant will bring one sister or brother, let alone three!
I know it is not rocket science but it is a kind of awakening for me to stop struggling to push my wheelbarrow up hill for the adult groups, why not fly down hill with the kids - whee!

After InterPlay we sat down and talked about symbols of Christmas eg Baubles were originally round to remind us of God's creation- planet earth. The colours red and green for the blood sacrificed by Jesus and green is the evergreen Christmas Tree to remind us of eternal life and so on. One 4 yr. old proceeded to tell me how her father, a farmer, had to kill a lamb and there was red blood squirting out everywhere! Mmmm...okay, moving right along. While the kids were decorating their candles, it was the same little girl that said to all the older kids at her table "Do it properly like mine!" Priceless.

From past experience with kids I know when I have a great project choice because the kids have everything they need at their finger tips. They know exactly what to do and hardly need any assistance. They quietly chat among themselves and stay focused on their craft for a full 40 mins. Also, I get the chance to relax, take photos and enjoy watching them create.

A bonus too-they all finished at about the same time. I used to get frustrated when I'd plan a 60 min kids painting class and 10 minutes into the class a sweet child, having done a slap-dash job would say "I'm done, what do I do now?" and he/she would start wandering around the studio and distracting the other kids. I would try to expand their thinking on ways to add more to their work but the response would be " Nah...I like it like it just the way it is." Not wanting to squash any of that unteachable confidence out of them or loose my 'working with children' permit, I would have to come up with another project-on the spot to keep this 'special' child engaged till mum arrived to pick him/her up.

Anyway, after today, I confess I have fallen in love with teaching children again. 

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