Friday, May 06, 2011

Bayyari Elementary School

Today I gave my career day talk to 100 4th grade students from Bayyari Elementary School in Springdale, Arkansas. It was a wonderful time for me. The students were very well mannered, and attentive. They asked great questions. I was amazed by all the things they knew could be made from wood, and I was impressed that so many of them already enjoy making things. In other words, our nation's future is in good hands.

I was also reminded of the exceptional job done by our teachers. Twenty five students to a classroom is not an easy thing. And these exceptional teachers do what needs to be done, exercise as much creativity as is allowed to make learning fun and exciting for their students.

My friend Jan, counselor at Bayyari, who had invited me to speak, told me that the students have been challenging of late. They spent last week filling in bubbles in standardized testing. Even the kindergarten students face state mandated batteries of standardized tests that they must prepare for and pass. We all know how wrong that is. children need to learn from their senses, from experiences being creatively engaged, using real tools, and making things that are of service to their families and community.

One little girl informed me that she wants to grow up to be just like me, and one boy asked me when I can come back. I wish I, or someone like me could be there in their school for each of them, providing opportunities to make things from wood. I passed out pieces of my inlay to each of them with the words on the back, "If you can think it you can make it." And I know that can be true for each of them.

Make, fix and create.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:46 AM

    Good work! Keep spreading the word, and you'll keep making a difference.