The Challenge of Defining a Project

The first week of LEAP is always a bit of an anxious one for a teacher such as myself. No matter what plan is put into place, the group dynamics and shared passions are so fluid and adapting that you need to be ready at every turn.

While at the time of writing no group projects have been fully defined, I thought I would share a story about how a scheduling challenge turned into an opportunity.

I wanted to be with the LEAP kids as much as possible through this first week. After each class I finished I joined them to see where their projects were going, and what kind of new inspiration was feeding their ideas. However, I had a dilemma when my full time teaching job asked me to cover for a colleague. Instead of deserting the LEAPers, I decided to share my dilemma, and threw out an offer than any kid who wanted could help me along. Leeland and Miro volunteered to come and help build a challenge that the Grade 3 class could partake in that afternoon.

Leeland and Miro engaging the Grade 3 class in a bamboo challenge they designed

They quickly came up with a novel and engaging challenge, and showed poise and expertise when interacting with the kids. The focus of the young audience was palpable, and all came away from the experience excited.

From this, I threw out the idea of making a book of bamboo challenges that we could test of the primary kids and then publish. Both Miro and Leeland were excited about the idea, and seemed to genuinely love the interaction they had with the younger kids. “I would love to work with the kids more” stated Miro. It is moments like this that I feel education has so much to learn from letting our young people interact more than is traditionally done.