Stopping by the art room one morning on her way to kindergarten, Harper Marie, age six and a half, exclaimed out loud, “I wonder if you have imagination everywhere?”
Harper and her sister Willow were absorbed with seeing what was on the walls and noticing the bookshelves full of interesting objects. Harper’s hands gravitated to a big conch shell. She lifted the seashell to her ear and listened for the sound of the sea. Next, the girls wondered if they might see the porcelain clay discs they had etched with our visiting artist, Tim Christensen the previous week. I had fired the work over the weekend, transforming the fragile clay into sturdy porcelain. Lately, the girls have been borrowing a book or two from my classroom library to bring to their classroom. I think, for them, it’s a way of staying connected to art as they wait for their turn to come for their art lesson on Wednesday afternoon. Why is art just one day a week? Why not every day!
I ask my readers, what does it take to create a classroom that invites wonder, that excites the imagination of the child? How do you tend the walls and shelves and whiteboards of your classroom to keep the environment alive– to spread “Imagination Everywhere,” in the words of Harper? How do you see the role of the classroom environment as a silent but powerful co-teacher?
K-5 Art Teacher
Williams-Cone School, Topsham, Maine