Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Living up to my dream

I don't remember much about my childhood, but I distinctly remember telling many people that when I grow up, I want to be a carpenter and a nurse.  I could see the pride in my father, who was in construction, as I imparted the greatest form of flattery.  It's flattering observe children being teachers in their pretend play, especially when they want to be "Stephanie".

I realized as I tried to complete a reading nook that, as a preschool teacher, I am a carpenter.  And a nurse.  And so many other things.  I guess by following my natural course in life, I've reached my childhood goals.

As a side note, I thought of this article on embracing failure in the scientific process when I embarked on the reading nook project, a very simple exercise in carpentry skills that has gone terribly wrong.  The article says:

"We can learn nearly as much from an experiment that does not work as from one that does. Failure is not something to be avoided but rather something to be cultivated. That's a lesson from science that benefits not only laboratory research, but design, sport, engineering, art, entrepreneurship, and even daily life itself. All creative avenues yield the maximum when failures are embraced."

Aside from making a great case for child-led exploration, it reminds me that it's okay that I've completely abandoned the reading nook project, because I'm a carpenter in the making, not a carpenter in perfection.  

I'm also a nurse, a librarian, a scientist, a counselor, sometimes a marriage counselor, a janitor, a nutritionist, a diplomat, an assumed expert in many areas of interest (like aquatic science, botany, paleontology, and entomology), and these are just some of the in-the-classroom roles.   I'm happy--no, honored-- to be a part of a field of well-roundedness, even when my attempts at carpentry look like this...

...and ultimately crumble into smithereens.  

But, as my friend Craig reminds me, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without the loss of enthusiasm." (Winston Churchill).

Lucky for us, Beansprouts was sent a version of said reading nook, thank you Renee and Gary for your hard work and generosity!

And when my carpentry skills don't come through, pvc frames work, too!

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