Saturday, October 14, 2017

Self Portraits!

Hey Kinder Friends,
Well, with my room under construction it's fair to say that it has been an interesting start to the school year to say the least. I feel like I have been on a long scavenger hunt that has lasted a lot longer than I had anticipated. When I finally find something I am looking for it almost feels like Christmas. On the flip side of the construction, I really have learned a valuable lesson. As I tried to ease my nerves about starting a new school year without having every little thing in place, I learned that I had to let go of the idea of perfection and enjoy the joy in each day. And I learned that we really need fewer things to survive in kindergarten than I had originally thought. The kids were just happy to be in kindergarten finally and they didn't seem to care at all that things in the environment were not perfect.
As Open House was approaching I wasn't sure if I would be back in my old room or if I would still be in the new room. No matter what I had to get things ready for parents to come and visit the classroom. I will admit I had no grand plan. It was hard to get motivated considering I still felt like nothing was perfect or even close. I came in each day and stared at the walls and I was afraid to look at the shelves because they were not so organized but in reality only I would have known that!
As I passed my old room each day I knew I needed a pick-me-up and quick. We decided on self portraits because it is such a traditional kindergarten must. And I knew these would do the trick to add some life and color to the bare walls. But this time was different. A teacher friend of mine suggested that I include a you tube video to help facilitate the lesson. I believe this really helped the children produce such great self portraits. Not only could they visually see the process, they could hear the artist explain as he drew. The results were amazing.
We watched the video and used scrap paper to practice drawing our self portraits. I had plenty of paper on hand and we used it. Some children were happy with their first portrait and others were not. We practiced drawing a new portrait for five days and ended those sessions evaluating each portrait as they were shared. I believe all of us had a better idea of how to approach our final portrait after practicing for five days and learning how each person created theirs. The final products were amazing to look at. Each portrait had personality. I could not wait to hang them on the walls for Open House!
After the self portraits were up it started to feel a little more like home. I was able to throw together a few decorations behind my desk just in time. And the morale to this story is that the kids were happy to just be in kindergarten and it didn't matter if things were perfect. The parents were snapping pictures of the self portraits and the conversations were lively. Nobody ever knew things were not perfect or how I would have done this or that had there been no construction. I learned to not sweat the small stuff and move on and enjoy the joy in everyday no matter if it's perfect or not!

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