Friday, April 15, 2016

People on the Streets

Sweet mercy, this is our last day in Project Land, at least for the time being.  Project Land is a place I like to visit periodically.  On this month's trip, kids are making immersive and engaging exhibits, websites, and performances about world problems and their proposed solutions.  It's sophisticated and amazing work. It's work you can't believe eleven and twelve year-olds have completed.

That's awesome, but there comes a time in Project Land when you just have to leave as fast as humanly possible. I've reached that moment.  The image above was created by my co-teacher, KK.  I think you can see some of the problems with Project Land, but I'm going to list them for you just in case. 
  • Project Land can be messy.  Uncapped glue sticks, paper and cardboard particles, drippy hot glue guns, a stinky fog machine, plaster, paint, spray adhesive - all of this stuff litters the classrooms.  And when it's time to clean up, it's almost never the mess of the person who's standing beside it.  Isn't that amazing?! How is it possible?!
  • Speaking of, in Project Land, it can be easy to duck accountability.  I've learned to start many a conversation with, "Talk to me about what's happening here" or "What are you working on right now?"  Most often when I have to begin this way, nothing productive is happening and/or no work is, at that moment, being accomplished.  Sometimes I'm wrong in my first impression, which is why I always ask first. Most of the time, though, I'm not wrong.
  • Project Land is chaotic for an extended period of time.  The building/making phase of this current project was about 10 school days long.  By the 8th day or so, I begin to experience physical side effects of being here in Project Land - eye twitches, stomachache, blurring of peripheral vision, muscle soreness, and in rare cases, numbness in my arms and hands.  By this point, we're almost done and I can foresee the happy, carefree days of grammar and mechanics instruction on the horizon.  Thank god.

1 comment:

mm said...

I like the line, "Talk to me about what's happening here."