I’m used to teaching and training adults and have been doing so for almost thirty years. But after becoming a trained facilitator in the LEGO Serious Play methodology, I decided to entertain the notion of expanding LEGO learning and building opportunities to children. I was primarily interested in the idea because of my love of LEGO art that I wanted to help others (and myself) create.
The perfect opportunity presented itself about six months ago when I was contacted by Blackrock Center for the Arts to discussing teaching an art class to kids using LEGO bricks as the medium. I jumped at the chance, but was a little afraid as well. I submitted the required course description and lesson plans, and have continued to build my LEGO collection through EBay, friends and family. A few weeks ago, I realized that the Open House for Blackrock Center and the LEGO art class itself was fast approaching and all of a sudden I was terrified!!
Making matters more interesting, because I talk about my LEGO play with my Mom in my book tour presentations, several nursing homes have approached me about doing inter-generational courses with dementia patients and nursery school kids. I’ll be practicing with Mom and Kendal before I tackle any of these play workshops! Though I’m very excited about this idea and my ever expanding course offerings with my favorite hobby, I was also lacking the level of confidence I believe I needed for the success I wanted to achieve.
This weekend we were heading to Owego, NY to be with my bestie Kris and her family for some relaxation and fun. We took our camper Memory Maker and actually camped on their vast land. The view from their deck is inspiring with rolling hills and beautiful birds. For me, it was the perfect setting for me to build up some additional confidence by building LEGO art! I had a blast and built for hours as Tim and Kris’ family all cheered me on! I even used the wonderful yard and countryside as a backdrop for a few of my builds!
Given that the classes I’ll be teaching are sixty to ninety minutes in length, I practiced building different models within certain time limits, much like I’m required to do with in my LEGO Serious Play workshops. I also selected a handful of bricks without looking and built a piece of art from them, a challenge I’ll give to the students as well to help develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills. I’ll be starting the first class with building mosaics, which can result in beautiful pieces of art. Over the last few months I’ve built a few mosaics I’m very proud of. Yesterday I made two in just a few minutes without any pre-planning or thought. Students will have the option of putting their mosaic in a frame, which they’d also build out of LEGO bricks. I built a few frames this weekend as well.
By the time we packed up to head home this morning, my confidence level had soared! Sitting around laughing and talking with friends who have been my family for more than twenty years allowed all of my creativity to come pouring out as I snapped brick after brick together. Though my career as a security professional and my hobby of building LEGO models of my own creation may seem miles apart, the two have come together in a way that allow me to pursue both endeavors with fresh new perspectives, a true benefit for both my clients and students. I’m ready for whatever comes because I know it will be a great learning experience!
Loretta, in all this – new opportunities accompanied with your excitement AND fear – it is your ability (capacity) and willingness to step out on (whatever the fitting, faithful metaphor: the limb, the water, the precipice) in faith that matters. I’ve said it before, and then, again and again, and so I repeat: I admire you and your entrepreneurial spirit. Carry on!
Thanks Paul!! Yep I’m pretty excited!!! And of course most hopeful that the class will go well!! You’ll be able to “read all about it” and probably hear about it as well! I’m certainly learning how much of a motivator fear can be!!! LOL!! Thanks as always for your response and your support!