I had a great time today presenting a workshop on Artistic Explorations to the teachers at Mountain Lakes Country Day School in New Jersey. I had a power point presentation featuring hundred of photos of children partaking in the various art experiences as I explained them, but the most important part of the workshop was the play. Following the presentation the teachers were encouraged to use the materials set up around the room and give the experiences a try for themselves.
The group that had been quiet for an hour was suddenly quite animated. They circulated the areas playing with all of the materials trying out many of the experiences they had seen in the slides.
And then the creative process took over and they started inventing new ways to use the materials. Materials separated on table were combined to create a new activity or experience.
I heard many expressions of, "we could do this..." or "we should try this..." or "they would love this..." On the evaluation forms the teachers were so appreciative of the chance to try the materials for themselves..in essence to have time to play.
How lucky they are to have a director who values the importance of this type of staff development.
I'm sure if someone asked you how you learned to use your cell phone, you would say, "I just played with it". As adults we need to allow ourselves the time to play, to explore, to create and to wonder ourselves.
I hope you have had some time to play today.
If you are interested in this workshop for your staff or group, please contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org