Sunday, July 5, 2015

We Are Born Makers #MakerEd

"But you're an English Teacher." I've heard this a few times when talking about my love of Making and my efforts to put a Makerspace in my school. It has been frustrating trying to explain Making to others not into the Making movement, but I'm going to give it a try.

We are all born Makers. I know this by watching my son. He grabs his Legos and builds. He creates his stories and narrates them for all to see. He will perform puppet shows for an audience of one. He will draw and draw until ideas escape him. I watched him for 30 minutes as he tried to find items to help him scale the gate keeping him out of the kitchen. It was a beautiful sight to see. He has this is him and I refuse to let school destroy it.

Leo might not go into a field that is heavy in Math and Science, but that doesn't mean he can't still be a Maker. The Arts is filled with Makers. Leo could be the next great Comic Artist or storyteller. He could be a History Teacher. He could do anything and bring his spark of creativity. We need to encourage all students to continue Making when they go to school. This is how the big problems will be solved.

The world today is going to be very different for our children. We need to encourage our kids to keep being creative and keep Making so they are ready to tackle problems that could change the world. Makerspaces are not just a STEM or STEAM thing. It's a space for all people to nurture their creative side and explore their interests in a free form way. 

The next time you think that Making is not for you or your students because you do not teach one of "those" courses, remember that we are all Makers and the real problem is trying to keep students Making despite what curriculum try to do.