Today's lunch time at the Maker Studio was a little different from days past in that one of our staff members who helps with the sewing machine couldn't make it and we had more than 25 little ones wanting to sew. I have used a sewing machine about thirty five years back when my grandmother had one where one had to spin with one hand and move the cloth with the other. The other adult in the room who normally helps doesn't know how to sew either and a third adult who came in early on doesn't. I do know how to hand sew and used to do a great deal of embroidery. However, I also needed to be available to help with the students who were coding or doing some of the other activities. Most of our customers for the sewing were first and second graders and a few third and fourth graders.
So the staff
member who is the instructional aide for the Maker Studio had the
students line up and wait their turn to get a needle threaded or fabric
selected. One of the students who decided he didn't want to do it that
way, took a couple of felt sheets, tied string around it, made it into
an airplane and came proudly to show it to me, exclaiming, "Look how the
wings flap!", while a few others came to me with the ends of the hand
sewn pieces wanting me to knot it or cut some thread or just wanting a
pair of scissors. In the meantime, one of our classroom instructional
aides got this telepathy that she was wanted. She was on yard duty,
knows how to sew and given that there were more than 50 students in the
room and the backyard there, she wasn't required as much outside.
obviously saved the day because she patiently got each student to come
Meanwhile, several of them were standing patiently in line.
the students had left at the end of lunch, the three of us were
reflecting upon the situation. My personal opinion was that it was great
that the students had learned to wait for their turn, but boy, they
were waiting patiently and they didn't mind that they had to wait and
they didn't want to give that up for another activity in the Maker
Studio. Believe me, they had several other choices. This then lead me to
think: What if every activity in the classroom was so compellingly
motivating that students were happy to wait their turn, that they were
learning to be patient and kind with zero teaching from our side on that
front. Just patience and calm from our end too! What a wonderful school
day that would be!