This post was originally a contribution to the Teachers Guild design sprint: “How might we inspire our students to be makers everyday?“
The key phase for me in this HMW is “every day”. That means that making can’t be something that is done only on special occasions. Students need to know that making, hacking, remixing, fixing the world around them is something they can do any time the need arises… or when the inspiration to do so arises.
If we want them to see themselves as having this ability, do we as teachers show them how we see it in ourselves?
For instance, the other day the pipes and boards that we were using started to become more of a messy pile than a neat pile. The issue was that there was no storage system for them, but really only a space on the floor. Seeing a problem before me, I set about to fix it. Taking a few spare pipes and some fittings left over from a project, I built a simple rack for them. The next day, I shared it with my students and talked about the thought process I went through – from problem seeing to problem solving.
— James Tiffin Jr. (@JimTiffinJr) February 5, 2016
But not all problems arise in the classroom – remember, we want this everyday. So what about the making we do at home to solve problems? Those are fair game too.
A photo posted by Jim Tiffin Jr (@jtiffinjr) on
Think about it like this: Teachers wouldn’t think twice about inspiring a love of reading in their students, by reading themselves. So why not inspiring a love of making in your students, by making yourself?