Mom as a Guerilla Teacher

As this was my turn to write here, I had a clear idea to talk about Graphic Facilitation. How thinking in pictures can also help you to learn a language. I planned this blog entry to be more professional, but then a story came into my way and my blog turned from professional to personal. But it still brings you into the magic world of Graphic Facilitation because it is so strongly a part of my life.

I am a mother of boys: 2 years old Ruben and 4 years old Samuel. It has been a great journey to grow with them. It is always a huge thing when your child learns to walk or talk. You can see closely how those things are important- to have a possibility to go where you want and express yourself. Children`s learning to talk is very funny and interesting for parents as well because you start to think about words. What do they really mean or how people can understand things differently. Ruben has just started to make his first long sentences and Samuel is using more and more difficult words in wrong context.

The story is actually about Samuel and Estonian language. In Estonia the words ‘DEER’ and ‘FEAR’ do not only sound quite the same but also written quite the same: ‘HIRV’ and ‘HIRM’. You can see that only the last letter is different.

Last friday we drove home late in the evening and saw 2 huge elks in the field. We stopped and watched them to pass the motorway. Then my husband told me about the news how one elk attacked a little girl. Samuel wanted to hear the story as well but my husband said that it is too scary for the nighttime and he may feel the FEAR. Suddenly Samuel asked how far those FEARS came from, where were they coming from. We didn’t understand first and told him that it just comes when he feels scared. Samuel got angry, kept on repeating his questions and then we understood that actually he ment DEERS. That elks and FEAR got DEERS into his mind.

Then we were faced a situation: how to tell your little child what is FEAR and what is DEER ? and how come that the words are just similar but have different endings and meaning? It was a challenge cause we were so tired. We thought that he understood but after being quiet for 10 minutes he asked again: does the FEAR has horns? :D Then we decided to continue the explanations the next day.

Next day we did a little drawing. How does the DEER and FEAR look like and how those words look like. All we needed was a little drawing and it seemed to me that he finally got it.

There is a saying that mom is a cook, a cleaner, a doctor, a clown, a taxi driver and a teacher. It is totally right. We can add here that mom is a Guerilla Teacher.

And as it all happened in Mother’s Day, Samuel made me a great present- thanks to this story I started to understand what Guerilla Teaching is about ☺


Storyteller: Kati Orav, Graphic Facilitator at Creativity Catcher, Kääpa, Estonia — partner in the Erasmus+ project GuLL

More info about GuLL: www.pleasemakemistakes.eu

Guerilla Literacy Learning is a project co-funded by Erasmus+ (Agreement no. 2014–1-BE02-KA200–000472)