The last week, I had to chance to work with special needed and disabled children.
A "wonderful" week.
The main idea was that I would go on a mind and sense trip with them, adjusted to their skills and interests. We used a lot of books, a bit of story and the artworks I brought from the traveling exhibition belonging to this project (Polku).
Also I brought my suitcase: the sense-suitcase I created last year, including the senses motivating window-book "inside-out" we made with Andrea last year. That came of good use.
From that we would search from each and every one of them, their inner picture/creature.
I must say, this was kind of magic. From the moment I came in, the contact with I got with the children, wether it was direct or through the making of the pictures, was so much more real and loving as what I experience on a daily bases. Also the teachers, immediately understand my way of working, the sinking into the process, the letting go of the prestigious or trendy result. It was as if I was invited into a bubble for a week, and I did not feel like leaving it in the end.
My week in Sirkkulan school in october, was also a very positive experience. The weather made it so that we could 'nt stick to the main plan for the whole week, which was rock painting, but at least partly.
In general, we have been a bit more strongly confronted with being a foreigner the last 2 years. This is not always bad, and also a result of our own choices, But I have to say, again, wisdom lays with children. They are not affraid.
They are so open, don't see it as a threat that a foreign/different person comes in, but embrace, share, and learn and I learn from their culture, each time again. That s also why we moved here. It s the whole point; no one is better than the other, just different. And from that we might find sollutions for problems we might have never even thought about on our own.
I brought quite a bunch of international picture books to this school. Also some Finish books, from which I know they are not enough appreciated as they are again, different. They loved it. It made them move right away. The few safer picture books, where not even picked up. They want more and different, food for their brains. It was inspiring to see and make me believe again. To my opinion, in general, the children's books market is mainly pointed to the adults/parents, as they buy the books. Maybe some day we menage to see our children more as they are.
Today it is a sunny day, I m going to put that to use and wish you all the same!
* Keanne *