Saturday, August 17, 2013

You're it!

Last May I had the opportunity to attend the TEDxGrandRapids Livestream for Education event at Kentwood Fine Arts Auditorium. As we prepare for this school year, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on one particular speaker that has stuck with me throughout that day and over the summer.

The theme for this year's event was "Tag, you're it!" That feeling was all around as we were encouraged to engage in conversation throughout the breaks in the day, participate activities like decorating lunch bags for the Kids Food Basket, or while listening to the speakers illustrate the power of being "it" for someone.

Although I took away great messages from all of the speakers who discussed ideas both big and small, it was Simone Ahuja's story of Mansukh Prajapati that had the most impact on me.

Rather than write about it, I think it is best watched here:

I am sure that there are moments within this that stuck out to you, too. As an art teacher, clay is a media we use for so many things. We use it to make decorative sculptures, molds, functional items... but not until I saw this story of how this material was "reframed" did I see what an impact it could have on a community and change their lives.

As I prepare for the start of school in the next few weeks, I am going to think about this story and how I can reframe my own situation to include innovative and creative solutions that help students find their potential and explore their ideas. I am going to share this story with my students and encourage them to embrace the moment they are tagged to be "it" for somebody.

What are you doing to prepare yourself for the upcoming school year? What pieces of motivation are you bringing with you to help foster learning in your classroom? How are you going to be "it" for your students this school year?