Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To Flourish

LAST FALL felt like my perfect time for a new teaching adventure. I hoped for something challenging and unknown, and the door opened at The Phoenix Rising School - one lively place with eager kids and beautiful teachers and Aaron, our right-brained visionary executive director. Aaron encourages enthusiasm and creativity, and what I kept seeing for creating an art program was the word "flourish" - to thrive, to blossom, to grow luxuriantly, to be in a vigorous state, to be at the height of excellence, to be successful and prosper. Flourish is really the perfect word to describe Phoenix Rising.

After the mess
So much has happened since the fall. But looking back to our first session - the kids and I were surrounded by boxes of books, unneeded giant pieces of furniture and stacked-up bins of unsorted stuff. No worry. In spite of the mess, we were all excited. Our drawing warm-ups went well, and then things got pretty squirrely when I brought out un-inflated balloons. Rather than tying their balloons, everyone wanted to "blow it up and let it go." Uh oh! Nothing serene about this moment! When we did settle down to tearing newsprint and placing dripping wet shreds of paper onto the air-filled balloons, we made some nice lanterns. Of course, we had no aprons yet, and we ended with one child slopped with glue from knees to neck - and another without a hint of stickiness on her fingers. Art classes, yes!  We are flourishing in true Phoenix Rising style, and it's great to be with the kids!