Today’s post is from an excellent blog called Venspired from Krissy Venosdale!
I get caught up in things. Informercials. New gadgets. New shades of Sharpie. Every kid I’ve ever taught has said, “You say EVERYTHING is your “favorite thing.” It’s true. Life? It’s my favorite. I grew up, but my internal excitement level has stayed at a five year old’s level. So, I’ll just preface this post with that. I will also say that I’ve held off on writing this. Long enough to figure out if this whole “maker movement” was another “thing I love,” or more. It’s more. So much more.
1.) The Maker Movement is not about acronyms. Life is not an acronym. I’m so tired of the debates on #STEM, #STEAM, and now #STREAM. Let’s just call learning what it is… building connections with the world. There, the whole alphabet? Covered. The Maker Movement isn’t labeling or assigning acronyms. It’s just organically, well, moving. Like learning does.
2.) The Maker Movement isn’t about certified experts or expensive keynotes. You don’t need to be an expert. You need to be willing to take a risk. In life? It’s impossible to know everything. It’s also pointless to try. In the Maker Movement? It’s about the pure-heartedness of neverending learning. The kind where you are invigorated, challenged, humbled, and curious over and over again.
3.) The Maker Movement is built on open collaboration. Make something. Share it. Borrow from others. It’s not about selling or buying. It’s about doing and thinking. It’s about putting our heads together to solve problems and create. It’s what is going to solve those “problems of tomorrow we can’t even imagine yet.” It’s not about sitting alone, trying to bubble in one right answer. Because life? it’s not about that either.
4.) Life is messy. Making embraces that mess and turns it into possibilities. Endless possibilities that unlock parts of the imagination that otherwise gather dust.
5.) Creativity matters in the Maker Movement. In every single thing I’ve done in education, all roads have led to one place: Creativity. It’s what ignites my passion for teaching, learning, and life. Take that away from me? And a part of my soul starts to die, wither, and wilt like a plant without water. The Maker Movement reminds me that creating is a fountain that we can all continue to drink from, that provides the energy that a full life requires.
6.) The Maker Movement is what gifted education has been waiting for, too. Open ended inquiry, possibilities, creativity, imagination, and learning? It’s the stuff my gifted edcuation class was built on. Yes, everyone will say, it’s the stuff ALL classrooms should be built on. You are so right… if we made school more about this, we wouldn’t need labels, nor separate classrooms, we could focus on supporting needs of all students, in one awesome learning environment. Magical. We could “make” learning right. Pun intended.
10 years in a public school, 1 year in a private school, and 1 year in an independent school and what have I learned? Squelch creativity. Squelch learning. It doesn’t matter where you teach, lead, dream, or what your role is, the Maker Movement offers something amazing for your students, and for you. It’s about casting aside those plans you’ve made down to the minute and embracing larger goals. Let those goals unfold in the minds of your students and evolve into something better than what you imagined. Because really, everyday we are just a living, breathing iteration of ourselves from the day before. And that? It’s just about trying to improve. Let your students lead and you’ll see exactly what I am talking about. The Maker Movement matters because it’s about pure, authentic learning, problem solving, self-reflection, collaboration, creativity, and removes the limits from our bubble-tested curriculums and one-right-answer-lesson-plans. It matters because learning matters. And it’s time.
Kriss Venosdale runs the Venspired blog. Writing about subjects like education, STEM learning and creativity while adding her touch as an educator. Her blog is sure to make you think, and make you explore different perspectives. Her goal? She wants schools to be one of the most exciting places a child ever visits!