For the past three years, I have volunteered at a local Chicago Public School. At Ogden International School, every Wednesday morning, I spend time with an amazing group of 30 kids.Since it is an international school, there are children from other countries. My class has a child from Dubai, Russia, and China. And these kids are learning English.
My role is simple. I am there to assist a talented teacher, Ms Polek. She runs a tight ship and the kids respond well to her structure because they know the expectations. Her class room is an explosion of color and pattern. Plus, she designed the classroom with experimental seating that is fabulous. Her classroom has several seating options that are all unconventional, yet extremely effective for learning.
If all the morning work is completed, Ms Tracy introduces a new craft. Cheers fill the room and I get 30 smiling faces beaming at me. We have made Chinese dragons, owls, turkeys, flowers and so much more. Each child takes such care and pride in there creation. They do not stop, think, or hesitate with artistic vision. It is all a process of flow.
What a huge lesson for me... sometimes we over think and hesitate. By spending time with kids, I see the bliss of childhood. We develop biases as we grow older. The kids are so proud of their creations and cannot wait to show you. They openly complement each others work.
Kindergarten is really cool.