I’ve been inspired to make smallish collages this past week. I stumbled upon some cool, helpful artists online at http://www.aisling.net/ and http://www.teeshamoore.com/. I’m following their suggestions and keeping my little gems in an “art” journal. The chopping, trimming, painting, coloring, pasting and arranging are oddly compelling. When I’ve finished it feels like a real accomplishment. I am the best kindergartener around! I could have colored and pasted my way to a fulfilling career as a preschool teacher if I didn’t need to pay for food, housing, insurance and all the other adult necesseties.
I was an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in Rochester when I was a Senior in college. It was for a survey of education class I was taking. (I realized too late, that I was interested in learning theories and styles and child advocacy.) The director of the school was an Indian or Pakistani woman. She was such a calm, elegant and soft-spoken woman. I loved listening to her soothing voice when she read the children stories and she taught me that you don’t have to raise your voice to get children to pay attention. The Montessori environment allowed the children to explore their interests on any particular day but in an orderly, respectful environment. Everyone had a responsibility to care for the materials and classroom.
I love the way kids create art without self-conciousness and without an inner critic that says “that’s not good enough to show anyone.” There were a couple of kids in the office a few months back and I got them to draw little pictures for me. The 5 year old drew a figure that can only be described as a potato man. His 8 year old sister drew a sun with lots of rays, a dog, a cat, and some kind of ball. Her dog has a speech bubble that says “ror”.
I fussed over their pictures and hung them up at my desk and they didn’t think anything of it. They still believe that whatever they create is good enough to display.
I just love that!