This past September I began working for a private school, our kids range in age from 6 weeks to around 8 years old. My primary responsibility is Infant 1 care (that’s the itty-bitty-babies), but in January I took over the Art classes.
I have taught before… to a much older audience. I am very much ‘in my element’ when working with teenagers. Sadly, high-schoolers in no way prepare you for the needs of developing young children. So for now, I’m fumbling my way through this, seeking advice and ideas from friends and peers.
I’m having to approach Art in a completely different way. For me, half the fun of teaching Art is beginning the conversation of art theory and history. When we learn to think, then we can create with intention. Toddlers don’t need to think to create, all they need is paper/paint/scissors/glue/crayons and freedom. For them the process is truly more important than the product. When they use scissors they develop hand-eye coordination and exercise all those little muscles later used to hold a pencil. When they scribble they build a visual vocabulary of all the same shapes used to form the alphabet. When given freedom to create they learn how to be better decision-makers, gaining confidence with every choice they make.
I’m wildly intimidated and honored to be a part of their development!