Art camp discoveries about myself

Today is my third - and last - day of camp with this particular group of youngsters. They're 8 years old and I find I quite like them. But here's an interesting thing I've also discovered about myself and children. Unless I'm a secondary adult, I rather prefer the presence of children one-on-one. Not that being with a group is a endlessly unpleasant, but I discovered yesterday that I just don't think it's good for me to teach small groups of children.

I'm impatient in my heart.

Shhhh. Don't tell anyone. I think that, for the most part, I was able to keep that from the little cherubs. But when children start talking and spinning a chair in the middle of a conversation, or they get up and walk across the room while you're talking to them or start talking in a cartoon voice and don't yet have the social skills to know that two minutes of that is funny but twelve minutes is a bit much...well, these things kinda' get to me! (A lot.) And I'm telling you this because I'm working it out, for myself, that I'm just not cut out for this.

Now, having gotten that out of the way, you should also know that there are times when they also delight me. The shortest part of our day (first we glazed the pendants we made on Monday,) was spent learning to make simple macrame necklaces and bracelets. Macrame is something I learned when I was a child and if memory serves, I haven't touched it again since I was 12. But after an evening practicing with a hemp cord, I decided the children might be able to see the value in what I'd made and I took my little hemp and bead necklace.

They loved it. And they loved learning how to make their own too! It was among the coolest parts of the week. And because they were really learning and needed to use their brains to actually figure out what they were doing, they were challenged and entertained and funny and relaxed and, well, not irritating! So note to self - you have to keep them engaged or there's a possibility the way you've planned your class is substandard.

It's really just too much pressure. Never mind - in the middle of July, I'm doing it again. The next group will be slightly older. We'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I'm taking my suitcase of beads today. And we're going to make things with the beads we've made this week, as well as with the beads I bring in my suitcase. Woo hoo!

Then I'm hanging out, alone, with a very cool 4 month old. Now that's the kind of child interaction I can get used to.