Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The joy of teaching...

As an elementary school special education teacher, I enjoy the art of teaching.  I love everything about it, with a possible exception of numerous meetings!  Even these are not so bad when the topic is something I am passionate about.  But the greatest joy, by far, are the students!  The challenge of meeting them where they are at and moving them forward is a task that is never the same from day to day, includes hours of pondering and planning, trying strategies, changing strategies because a certain one did not work, and most of all seeing and feeling the joy a student (and the teacher!) has when they make progress.  TODAY, however, my blog really is not intended to be about the joy of teaching at school, but rather, the joy of teaching a rising second grader to sew!  (Sewing?? Does everything have to come back to sewing??  No, but in this blog is usually does!)

This summer I've had the privilege of teaching my grand-niece to sew.... much like I gave her mama sewing lessons some 20-some years ago!  During the first lesson she decided that she wanted to make a quilt for her doll -- appropriately named "Big Dolly!"  Out came the box of scrap fabrics.  We spent much of our time that day with "H" picking out the fabrics she wanted to use.  After talking about ideas, and cutting out squares, I put out an old doll blanket of mine on the table, and told her to play around with square placement.  She knew exactly what she wanted to do and laid out this lovely design.

To add an additional design feature, she chose a flower from another fabric, and fused it to each corner piece.  She had such a great design, and as I looked at it, I could hear myself thinking ... great design, but we are going to need to get these squares sewn together side by side...could get a bit complicated for this project... So, in my nice teacher voice, I began telling "H" that usually in a quilt we sew the squares to each other to make a design.  "Well," she began, "I was thinking we could sew them to a fabric just like this."  Oh -- how brilliant!  How simple!!  I helped with ironing the edges under and after watching me sew one edge of a square, "H" did ALL the rest of the sewing on the quilt!
The look of delight on her face was priceless...and the joy of teaching once again was realized!

1 comment:

  1. I finally got on here and looked this up!! I can't believe it took me so long. Anyway, this quilt has been used for many delightful things including wrapping up "big dolly" for walks and tea parties. She has been practicing her hand stitching and can't wait to show you her latest project. Maybe we'll have to slip over this weekend...thanks again for your love and care in encouraging her to be creative and use the gifts God has given her.