Friday, September 23, 2016

Persevering through a challenge - learning at the Shelburne Craft School

This Thursday afternoon I was excited to find thirty of our 8th graders deeply engaged in learning some new skills at the Shelburne Craft School.  Originally developed in part to serve as the arts program for Shelburne Community School - our continued use of the Craft School as part of our 8th grade Arts and Citizenship program builds on the fifty year old relationship between our institutions.   Here are a few pictures of what I saw as I walked through yesterday -
Learning to throw a pot on a wheel - success after multiple tries today!
creating a textured bowl with an extruded clay slab
working to get that original slab balanced so that it's possible to throw a pot 
Creating a stained glass mosaic - from idea to artwork piece by piece 
A wooden spoon begins to form from a block of wood shaving by shaving 
Ready to give the spoon a bit more shape then more chiseling and shaving
We consistently hear that time at the Craft School is one of the favorite parts of an 8th graders week - it truly is engaging fun  - but fun with an important purpose.  As we explore the meaning of the transferable standard of Self-Direction - you can see that an important component is to help our students develop a growth mindset - a belief in their ability work through challenges and find success through their own perseverance.

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At the Craft School we intentionally ask students to choose a project in an area they have never tried - a project that will provide them with ample opportunities to work through roadblocks and expand their ability to persevere.   Perhaps some will discover a love for this craft that blossoms into a lifetime hobby or perhaps even a career - but more important is that they gain more self-confidence in their ability to tackle a new challenge and to learn something outside of their usual experience and comfort zone.

If you'd like to see the beautiful outcomes of this work - we would love to have you mark your calendars for Thursday Dec 1 from 5 - 7 PM,  when the work of these young artisans will be displayed in a public gallery night at the Craft School.  It will be a great chance to not only see their excellent work - but also ask them personally about the growth of their perseverance as they worked through the challenges inherent when we push ourselves to learn something new.   We hope you will join us for our celebration!  

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