Jana Sayegh, Lebanon
This week I decided that my class would need to learn through their independent, step-by-step work. Usually I’d plan for an activity that requires a teacher’s guidance throughout, but on Monday they only needed me to supply a fixed set of rules and the rest was on them to make of in whatever way they saw fit. To be more specific, I had them make in-class playdough and while I provided the ingredients (flour, salt, oil and water), they were calling me asking for more or less materials, sharing their extra materials with other kids, trying to get the right color for everyone’s clay etc. I was extremely proud to see that after a week of encouraging everyone to cooperate and envision the end product, this became natural when they finally had to lead the experiment on their own.
To be honest, I couldn’t be more proud to see my children enforce this kind of cooperative, communicative and creative discipline in a fun and messy activity. They could’ve easily chosen to get dirty and separate learning from creativity, but they didn’t. They asked the necessary questions, they listened to my expectations, and they made something for themselves from scratch, all while having fun, keeping clean and madly enough, linking things to the previous day’s theme. It genuinely must have been the best day for me because they proved that at age 5 and 6 they too were capable of listening to me, as long as I approached them right and attended to their thoughts and feelings. My kids are truly remarkable, they’ve got the purest hearts and the biggest imagination and I’m very grateful to be able to experience their gifts and take part in flourishing them.