I spent some time this week substituting in a 2nd grade art classroom.
Not for the faint of heart or slow on the hoof.
It was much like herding cats or trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. But dang, did we crank out some mighty fine birdhouse collages.
And second graders know how to openly express gratitude like nobody else on the planet. Unabashedly and full throated Thank YOU MRS DUNNING!!!!
They are also excellent helpers. They will get their friends scissors or glue sticks or show them the very absolutely right and not the wrong way to draw a bird.
Second graders will not let you get away with bad behavior. If you are, say, trying to make a cootie catcher instead of drawing a sun and clouds on the background paper of your birdhouse collage, make no mistake, you will be dimed out. But it is for your own good. You are being encouraged to walk a righteous path.
If you are sad about the way your birdhouse roof pattern turned out, a second grader will know how to console you. Second graders are excellent at compliments.
Second graders are good at sharing. Songs. Tape. Germs. Hugs.
When second graders get too loud during art class, they have “silent art time,” when they just concentrate on making beautiful things. They don’t mind admitting that they actually really loooove silent art time.
I spend most of my work days trying to either motivate seventeen year olds or teach seventeen year olds how not to be anxious messes because they are too highly motivated. I’m thinking that once in a while, I should spend some time making birdhouse collages with them. Maybe they would recall all of those important lessons they used to know about helping and righteousness and consoling friends and giving compliments and sharing and being silent.