Little Kites

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When we finally finish the diamond frame, glue the paper to make the surface, attach a pretty tail to it and tie on a string, we know our kite is ready to soar.

All what we need now is a good wind, sprinting and hovering to see our winged toy up there in the air.

The joy and excitement together with the sense of achievement that I see on the face of a child that his fist is holding on that string, I wish I could see on all children’s faces.

I have met and worked with children that came from different countries, had different family circumstances, different ages, different behaviour patterns and different ways to express themselves, yet I found that there is one thing in common in all of them, they had an amazing ability to read me, they read kindness, they received it and welcomed it, they also let me know that they welcomed it. All this happens without any spoken words.

After I knew they welcomed me in, I helped them to express their ideas and thoughts on paper, by writing or drawing something, but as the spoken words are difficult for some of them, also putting lines together on a piece of paper is equally difficult. I kept on trying with them sometimes by showing them how to draw a simple line, by taking them in a tour to see other children’s drawings and colorings, and sometimes by simply giving them some space and pretend that I am not looking at their papers. When they succeed to put their first lines, I congratulate them and reward them, because it is not only about the few lines, rather, it is that they worked on their courage to set the diamond frame.

It takes time and patience, but it is really rewarding to see them engaged trying to illustrate their mental pictures on paper.

I found out that this way works very well to calm a group of children in a classroom or a library, before starting their lessons, but I had to learn that I can not be very predictable on what I suggest for them to draw, it has to challenge them a bit so they feel excited to meet my expectations.

I made it clear for them and I still do for the children I currently work with including mine, that I know they will do the best they can, and I trust that they will try, until they reach the place where they can express what they have in their minds on paper and in words.

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