Some may ask why I jump into a program idea so quickly, (sometimes before it can be fully thought out). The past few years, I’ve tried some creative ideas and enjoyed all of them. Some of the ideas were not the most successful, but I’m proud of myself for trying and every program taught me something. What sticks with me though are the programs that I didn’t run.
We all have those kids, where you see a program idea and you instantly think of a kid that would be perfect for that program. You know that you’ll have a large group participating, but based on what you know about that student in your head, you know that s/he will be super excited about this event.
There have been two programs that I have not been able to pull off because of time/lack of training/lack of resources, and I constantly think about what these programs could have been and how the students in my head could have been a leader for those programs.
The first is my makerspace. These thoughts motivated me to get it started this year, but I have been mulling the idea of a makerspace over for 2 years. At first I was hesitant becaue I am not strong in science, engineering, or math. Then I saw all the cool programs others were doing with cool devices and my mind jumped to, “I could never afford those things…” Finally, I was still finding myself as a young teacher and didn’t have the time to commit to a resource, when there were other things to get done.
Over the past 2 years, I’ve had a student who always came to me with engineering projects and would talk maker stuff to me. When I do my maker program, I wonder what he would have added to the conversation. When students go to high school, you can’t chase them down to come back to try your programming. I may have not been ready to take that leap of faith in starting my makerspace, but I’m glad that I did and have learned a lot through the process. You can’t go back in time and start on in the past, but you can look forward and keep trying new ideas that you think will work in your community.
Another program idea that I’ve wanted to try, but haven’t had the time or equipment for is the Veteran’s History Project. For those of you unfamiliar with the program, this is a program through the Library of Congress that collects oral histories of veterans. When I was in college, I worked with a team to collect some oral histories. My first year teaching, I had a few boys who were passionate about military history. I knew that this program would have been perfect for them. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pull it together, but I look to the future to try and make it happen in the future. Maybe posting this here will finally motivate me to make it happen in my library.