This year has been a whirlwind. In my third year as a makerspace and technology teacher (with so much help from so many friends-Jeff, Melissa, and Fred) I successfully published a book, launched a website, started a new podcast, and found a great new job, and I admonish myself for not writing more.
I wrote what I needed to write. I created a video about the feelings around leaving, and I used the puppets. It was more of a farewell love letter to my workspace. I spent a great deal of the last month in awe of the change in my life.
Four years ago I was teaching Freshman English. We read all of the Odyssey, we recreated Julius Caesar in puppets.
That year I sent out 70 resumes and cover letters. The job I was lucky enough to find wasn’t even one I applied for.
The new job, as technology teacher was a daily learning challenge. I knew I could learn the tech,but I was nervous about the students. I had been successful with middle school and high school kids, but was untested with the littles.
I discovered that the younger students could be present and engaged in the learning in a way my older students did not seem to have access to. This job quickly became the most fun and effective work I have done so far.
Three years later, I find myself in a new school, a new city, and surrounded by new tools. My task is to take a well-appointed space and turn it into a creativity center for our Tk-6 community. I will be learning how to use these tools at the same time I am writing curriculum to help students learn how to use the tools.
The more time I work in MakerEd, the more I see it is so much like writing. The teacher needs to tend to the community. My job is helping students work with each other, helping them find ways through the vulnerability that creation demands safely, together.
5What does a maker teacher need to know?
-Kids and creative process
4What should a makerspace have in it?
-kids, room to work, and resources the kids value
3What is the most important tool in the makerspace?
-mindset: know you can, you all can
2How do you grade creativity?
-you don’t. You assess and reflect on engagement in the process and set growth goals with students. How well the student meets and engages these goals is an excellent grounds for assessment.
1Which 3D Printer should I buy?
-A sewing machine, or 5.
Now I sit in my new space, with all of the awesome resources and I need to knit together a curriculum. I ave to create a living resource of experiences that I can deploy responsively to the kids and their passions.
How do you craft your maker curriculum? How do you decide which skills need direct instruction and which can use online tutorials?