I have been very lucky during my maternity leave (and really all of the time!) to have the support of my family – husband, in-laws and my own parents. You learn very quickly that it takes a village to raise children…and keep your sanity. The same can be said as a teacher in the classroom – the more staff working together to meet the needs of all students…the better (for everyone!).
Over the last few months, I have enjoyed a few hours every Thursday to explore my inner maker. I must say, there are few things as satisfying as making something with your own two hands! At the Make Den on Bloor Street in Toronto’s West end, I discovered a new kind of meditation – sewing. The hum of the machine, the crisp sound of fabric sliced with a rotary cutter and the feeling of your project as it slips through your fingers.
From small items like a shoe bag to larger projects like the quilt runner, I re-learned how to fail forward. The entire experience made me reflect on how I use making in the LLC not only as another tool to engage meaningfully in curriculum, but also as a tool to connect to people and the process of learning in general. The power of struggle and perseverance feels somewhat more meaningful with an actual product as your end result.
As I connected to people in my classes I realized how making has an impact on our daily lives and how it can be used to improve lives of those around us. There are a few #MakeForGood projects out there that I am looking into – one that even makes pillowcases (my project #4) for kids in hospitals. Look at the amazing work being done at Ryan’s Case for Smiles (http://caseforsmiles.org/ontario/).
Although I am not in a rush for my leave to end, I am interested to see where I can apply my new skills in the classroom!