The pendulum in education is always swinging one way or the other and oftentimes all we want it to do is stop somewhere in the middle. Finding that balance is key and often difficult to do. In an age where so much academic rigor is happening to 5-7 year olds through more traditional education styles, I find Makerspace a breath of fresh air. The beauty of makerspace is the script is written by the students and not the teacher. It is a time where kids can work together, problem solve and show so much brilliance in their ideas, creativity and thinking.
My passion for Makerspace didn’t start because of being a teacher, it started because of my son. He is a wonderfully, creative and silly kid who loves to build and create. I am a parent of 3 young children, my son being the oldest. I have learned very quickly that each child is so uniquely different even though they have been raised by the same parents under the same roof.
“Creativity is impulsivity gone right. Encourage it in your child and use it yourself. ” Dr. Edward Hallowell
Once my son hit school, we quickly realized his “struggles”. I use quotes for struggles because although it has been tough at times I am really trying to see the beauty in his learning styles and his diagnosis of ADD. I believe in ways it is a gift because he is able to be so creative, smart and truly an all star engineer.
“Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADHD is understanding understanding ADHD in the first place. You need to understand what a positive attribute ADHD can be.” Dr. Edward Hallowell
Unfortunately, sometimes in school and at home when it comes to paper pencil tasks or multi-step directions he gets frustrated. He gets down on himself and it’s tough to watch. Where I do see success is through problem solving, creating and building. I see at home how quickly he feels smart, successful, and good about himself when he is doing these things. He is able to articulate through building and show great comprehension of stories through Makerspace styled activities that he may not have been as successful with if shown in other ways.
After seeing this over the years I really started to feel strongly that their needed to be a Makerspace at my school, which fortunately is the school my son attends. Due to space issues in the building we were able to purchase two carts thanks to our amazing PTO and we collected supplies from parents. It is certainly a work in progress but what makes my heart skip a beat is walking by and seeing the carts missing from the hallway. I visualize the problem solving, laughs, engineering flops, and creativity in my head of what’s going on in the classrooms around our school and it brings a smile to my face. They are learning valuable skills through the power of play and creativity.
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers
With tears in my eyes and love from the bottom of my heart. Thank you, Ryan. Thank you for teaching me and guiding me to be a better teacher and mother. Keep building, keep creating, and keep being you.