Thursday, 20 February 2014

That'll teach me!

I spent my Wednesday teaching what I thought was a well paid workshop - taking fleece scarves and adding buttons, appliqué, ribbons etc to jazz them up.  

I've obviously been lulled into a false sense of security by the lovely children I work with at school, and had forgotten what little ess-aitch-one-tees children from "hard to reach" families can be. 

The organisers gave each child a sheet with all the stall holders listed (me, the local museum, army cadets, children's centre, face painting: a dozen in all) and if they got a stamp from each of us they could enter a draw for a food hamper.

The kids came to me asking for a stamp, but I said the stamps were only issued after they'd made a scarf, so they sat downn to join me

These kids, mostly about 8 to 12, spent their time telling me they can't f-ing do it, telling their friends to b.. off, telling themselves their scarf is s**t or cr@p. Resources were dropped to the floor when they were finished with, others were chucked around (buttons were thrown at people) lids were left off the fabric pens, ribbons were cut into shreds just 'because', and a pin cushion was stolen!!!  

But on the plus side - 28 of them DID decorate a scarf, the one who shouted "I can't f-ing do this" through tears, (and may well have been on the autistic spectrum, I wish people would tell me) COULD f-ing do it by the end of the session, one girl spent nearly 2 hours working on her scarf, others started just to get their stamp, but got quite engrossed sewing on buttons and fabric scraps and cutting tiny holes and weaving ribbons.

And as I drove home wondering why in earth I had said yes, I drove past mr I can't f-ing do this, and mr chucking buttons at the back of my mate's head, wearing their scarves, and I realised THAT'S why I do it, they did something creative, they did it because they wanted to and they liked it enough to wear it rather than throw it in the first bin!


  1. Yay for you and persevering! Glad you saw the benefits in the end. Slowing down enough to create something can be so difficult for some children in this fast-paced, entertainment driven, immediate-gratification world. But the slowing down and creating benefits them so much, it is worth a few new grey hairs (every now and then)

  2. Kudos in fostering creativity in those who need it the most!
    When I used to help out in school, I would be mentally tired from trying to comprehend these other children's lives.
    ess-aitch-one-tee. (Giggle)

  3. I didn't know my neighbours had gone travelling *ahem* Glad you got there in the end, but next time wear your tin hat!

  4. Well done for helping what sounds like a very tough bunch find their creativity :-)

  5. way to hang in there, Benta! Oddly enough, here it is usually the kids from the hard to reach families that are the polite and respectful ones.

  6. What a challenging day you had Benta, how nice though to see a reward at the end too.

  7. So pleased that you had that lovely bit of seeing the children with their scarves at the end - sounds like a tough session! Well done you for sticking with it. And yes, I'm with you, if there are children who might need additional support, whatever they are doing, I do wish that parents would let you know - being on both ends of it I've never found a position where *not* letting people know about issues has worked better than letting them know!
    Glad you survived with sense of humour intact!

  8. Oh you didn't offer to tie the scarves on tightly afterwards - you are a way better person than me!!! Well done xxx

  9. So obviously, you did a great job ;-) and may I say - respect to you for doing it !!


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