Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Product vs. Process

Generally speaking, I consider myself to be a creative person.  Unfortunately, my skills don't necessarily live up to my creative potential.  The ideas are there, but something seems to go wrong in the process in of bringing that idea to reality.  As a kindergarten teacher, my lack of ability means nothing to the little people in my life.  They see the beauty in every creation.

So imagine the anxiety I felt when I arrived at theatre camp for 44 first thru sixth graders and was told I was in charge of helping them to create their costumes.  No sewing machine.  No patterns.  No suggestions.  No help from other adults.  Just a tub of fabric scraps, a few pre-made items, scissors, and a bunch of needles and thread.  Oh, and I only had 90 minutes with each group during the week to make it happen.  (Where was my aunt Jolene when I needed her???)

These poor kids!  They looked to me help.  I looked back at them with panic in my eyes.  I wasn't sure what I had gotten myself into, but I knew I couldn't let the kids down.  I turned the tables back on them.  What do you want your costume to look like?  Dig into that fabric box and see what inspires you.

They came to me with their ideas.  They wanted vests, shirts, skirts, dresses, belts, headbands, capes, and hats.  I took the scissors and started cutting.  They gave me instructions as to where to cut.  I gave them needles and thread and showed them how to embellish their creations.  They came to me with ideas on how to make it bigger and better.  I helped them when they wanted help and stood aside when the didn't.  They blew me away with their creations.

In the end, we ended up with 44 very happy kids with very creative costumes.  They may have been a little rough around the edges, but the kids were ready to walk the runway with pride in their creations.  It was a reminder to me that it's not the finished product--it's finding enjoyment in the process that matters.


  1. Hooray for you! That was ingenious of you to turn to the kids and let them decide. I would have panicked and then ran far far away! Awesome!

  2. Very cool! It is amazing what can be produced with very little when there is a vivid imagination involved. Did you make one too?

  3. Oh, wow! A truly great and inspired teacher always knows when to get out of the way and let her kids learn on their own with just a few nudges. You qualify!