Today I told teachers in Darwin about a teacher I knew who had her Kindy kids writing and drawing pictures to an imaginary fairy who lived in her cupboard. One of the teachers in the workshop told me a lovely story.
This teacher had written on a piece of pink paper with a few squiggles with lots of glitter and asked her 4 year olds, “Can anyone speak “Fairy” around here?
One little boy confidently called out, “I can!” and then made up a lovely, creative explanation of the weird squiggles!
A few weeks later, the teacher thought she would try it again, and asked the little boy to try to decode some more “Fairy” words on a purple piece of paper. This time she wrote a few simple words that could be sounded out. The little boy was having none of this! He was not interested in sounding out words as this was not half as interesting as making up his own story!
The little boy took a good look, and assertively replied, “Sorry, I can’t read “Fairy” when it is written on purple paper!”
The point here is the marvellous confidence and creativity the little boy showed and his ability to fight his way out of a difficult situation!
Young children have huge dollops of wonderful creativity and imagination. Unfortunately we usually squash this within the first 2 years of school. As Sir Ken Robinson points out- so many Kindy kids are creative geniuses but lose it within a year! We need to grow creativity rather than kill it!
Can you imagine walking into your local pub/café/ workplace and asking the same question: “Does anyone around here speak “Fairy?”
I dare you to try! The answers might be a little different!